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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Housing Policy Briefs , Reports and Publications

New Report Explores Racial Segregation in Hartford MSA

8 November 2017
Connecticut Fair Housing Center

In September, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center (the “Center”) published its report “Are Local Land Use Policies and Practices Contributing to Housing Segregation in the Hartford MSA.” The report concludes that Connecticut zoning practices have a negative impact on the number of affordable housing units located in the certain municipalities, resulting in racial and ethnic segregation.

The report looked at two primary questions: 

  1. “How do zoning practices affect the expansion of income-restricted housing outside of high poverty areas in the Hartford MSA?

  2. Is the income-restricted housing that exists or that is being built equally accessible to members of the protected classes throughout the Hartford MSA?”

The Center finds the distribution of income-restricted units in the Hartford MSA correlates with the populations of color in the region, like the rest of the state. That is, the areas with the largest supply of income-restricted units were also those with the highest populations of people of color. Also notable, the Center found that while minimum lot sizes and density restrictions tend to limit the production of affordable housing units, they do not appear to have the same effect on the production of elderly housing. The report suggests this may be attributable to the creation of elderly housing predating minimum lot size requirements, or may be the result of lot size requirements being waived for affordable elderly housing but not affordable family housing. 

The report concludes with several recommendations including: replicating this study across the remaining Connecticut regions to learn more about the effects of the state’s zoning practices, conducting further research into elderly housing and why zoning boards tend to be more lenient than with family affordable housing, and effectively marketing affordable housing opportunities to those least likely to apply. 

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