Affordable Housing, Community Development

HOMEConnecticut Program Continues Momentum; 9 Towns Get Grants

 

The increasing demand for smaller, denser, more affordable homes across Connecticut received a boost April 10 when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy awarded pre-development/planning grants to nine new municipalities under the state’s Housing Program for Economic Growth, also known as HOMEConnecticut.

Eight of the nine – Madison, Clinton, Guilford, Barkhamsted, Trumbull, Windsor Locks, Enfield and Andover – received $20,000 each to determine the feasibility and locations for Incentive Housing Zones (IHZs). The ninth town, Canaan, received a $50,000 Phase II grant to prepare for construction on a site already designated as an IHZ. IHZs are created by towns, on a voluntary basis, to allow as-of-right construction and, thus, avoid lengthy land-use approval processes for developers. 20% of the housing units in an IHZ must be affordable for those earning 80% of the area median income or less and the allowable densities must be a minimum of six to 20 units per acre, depending on the unit design.

The awards follow grants to 10 additional towns earlier this year. “Incentive Housing Zones are good public policy because they promote both affordable and market-rate housing and mixed-use developments in residential and business districts,” said Governor Malloy. “These zones can help communities relieve congestion and avoid sprawl by creating more vibrant neighborhoods near businesses and existing transportation connections — allowing people to walk or take public transit to work, to visit cultural attractions, or just to enjoy an evening out.”

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