Municipalities are beginning to recognize the need to create a wider array of housing options to meet demand fueled by economic and demographic forces that are fundamentally changing the state’s housing market, experts said Thursday at the latest IForum sponsored by The Partnership for Strong Communities. “The Peril and The Potential: How The New Housing Market Could Affect Towns, Residents and Revenue-Raising,” drew nearly 100 planners, first selectmen, town managers, developers and community development professionals to The Lyceum in Hartford.
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The event was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and the University of Connecticut’s Economics Department, which publishes the quarterly journal The Connecticut Economy. The spring edition was devoted to changes in the housing market. Executive Editor Steven Lanza presented research he wrote for the journal that showed that housing values, and municipal grand lists, are healthier in towns where housing stock is more diversified. UConn Professor of Economics Dennis Heffley and CT Voices for Children Senior Policy Fellow Orlando Rodriguez also presented on the research they included in journal. The trouble in Connecticut, said the Partnership’s policy director, David Fink, is that 133 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns have housing stock heavily skewed to single-family homes – 70% or more – and thus need to diversity that stock.
Officials from four different communities – John Pagini from Bolton, Katherine Daniel from Brookfield, First Selectwoman Laura Francis from Durham and First Selectman Paul Formica from East Lyme – said during a panel discussion that they are doing exactly that, using the HOMEConnecticut program’s Incentive Housing Zones and other tools to plan and zone for smaller, denser, more affordable, walkable, energy-efficient and, if possible, close-to-transit rentals and ownership units.
Click here to access The Connecticut Economy.
Watch the IForum on CT-N