State Announces Grants for Towns to Develop ‘Proactive’ Plans under 2018 Affordable Housing Mandate

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Department of Housing has announced grants to 43 municipalities for technical assistance in developing affordable housing plans required under the 8-30j state statute. 

The law, enacted in 2018, requires every municipality to “prepare a plan to increase affordable housing, beginning in 2021.” The plan will “specify how the municipality intends to increase the number of affordable housing developments in the municipality” and must be prepared or amended and adopted at least once every five years. 

The state opened the grant application process from March 9 to June 30 to small municipalities with populations below 50,000. Eligible municipalities could apply for up to $15,000 in grant funding. The grants, totaling $558,000, were made on a first come, first served basis. 

The state has engaged the Regional Plan Association to create an Affordable Housing Plan and Process Guidebook to assist municipalities in developing their affordable housing plans. 

The grants ranged from $4,500 to $15,000 and were awarded to: Avon, Barkhamsted, Bethany, Bloomfield, Bozrah, Branford, Brooklyn, Canaan, Canton, Chaplin, Cornwall, Durham, Farmington, Franklin, Goshen, Groton, Hampton, Harwinton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Morris, New Milford, Middlefield, Newington, Newtown, Norfolk, North Stonington, Old Saybrook, Plainfield, Ridgefield, Salem, Shelton, Sprague, Stonington, Suffield, Thompson, Torrington, Warren, Washington Depot, Westbrook, Weston, Willington and Woodbury. 

Sam Gold, executive director of the River Council of Governments, said his agency was applying for funding to provide technical assistance to towns within the COG. 

“I do not know if we have the funding, but even if we don’t get the funding, we will be there to help our towns regardless to fulfill this mandate,” said Gold.

Seila Mosquera-Bruno, Commissioner of Housing, said the grant awards allow the state to partner with smaller towns to take a proactive approach toward tackling the housing issue together.

“Throughout my visits to different towns and projects sites around the state, providing technical assistance was one constant that I kept hearing. We don’t want towns to develop plans that sit on the shelf and collect dust, but want them to create useful documents that will assist in the planning and executing the creation and preservation of affordable housing stock,” she said in a release. 

The state announced the awards on July 15. Funds were sent to the municipalities on July 16, according to Aaron Turner, Director of Government Affairs & Communications for the Department of Housing. Future funding is subject to authorization by the State Bond Commission.

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