Frequently Asked Questions
What's the Regional Housing Plan?
The Regional Housing Plan is a plan to address overall housing needs at the regional level. A regional approach to housing is important because housing issues, housing markets, and housing trends cross municipal boundaries. Each municipality in the region has something to offer to the overall housing picture.
In addition, this project will consider housing needs holistically. Housing needs do not exist in a vacuum. Therefore, this plan will consider housing needs in the larger context of job growth and demographic change. Further, the analysis will consider housing need for a variety of income groups and household types. While affordability will be an important component of the plan, it will only be part of the larger housing picture.
Having a comprehensive approach to housing that assesses housing needs for everyone in the context of our demographic and economic reality can help to strengthen the diversity, resiliency, and vitality of the region.
Is the Regional Housing Plan an Affordable Housing Plan?
Yes and no. The Regional Housing Plan will be formulated in two parts. The first part of the plan is a regional housing analysis. This portion of the plan will provide an overview of the current housing conditions in the region and project the region’s future housing needs. It will consider housing market geography, housing demand drivers such as jobs, household formation, and income, our housing supply characteristics, and our changing demographics. The goal of this first part of the plan is to assess current and projected future housing in the region, particularly as it relates to job growth and demographic changes, and to make recommendations about how and where regional housing supply needs to change to address those conditions. While housing affordability is a component, it is only part of the larger housing picture.
The second part of the plan will consist of state required local affordable housing plans for twelve participating municipalities in the region. The participating municipalities are Portland, Cromwell, Middletown, East Hampton, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Clinton, Lyme, and Old Lyme. These local plans will focus specifically on housing affordability in each municipality and will build on the data and recommendations of the regional housing analysis. Each municipality will take the lead in the creation of their local plan with varying degrees of support from our consultant team. On completion, these plans will be incorporated as annexes to the Regional Housing Plan.
What are the statutes governing affordable housing and housing plans in Connecticut?
CGS § 8-30j is a state statute which requires that every 5 years municipalities adopt an affordable housing plan to show how the municipality intends to increase their number of affordable housing developments.
CGS §8-30g is a remedy which allows a developer to contest a municipality’s decision on an affordable housing development application if fewer than 10% of the municipality’s housing units are affordable based on certain statutory criteria.
The State defines affordable housing as housing that costs 30% or less of household income for households making less than 80% of state or Area Median Income (AMI), whichever is lower.
How does the Regional Housing Plan relate to state required affordable housing under CGS 8-30g?
The Regional Housing Plan will look at housing needs for a variety of income groups and household types. This will include households that make less than 80% of state or Area Median Income (AMI).
Further, the local affordable housing plans will fulfill the requirements of CGS 8-30j and show how each municipality intends to increase their number of affordable housing developments.
However, neither CGS 8-30j nor the Regional Housing Plan focus specifically on qualified affordable housing as defined by CGS 8-30g.
Will the Regional Housing Plan require affordable housing to be built in my town?
The Regional Housing Plan will not impose any requirements on any municipalities in the region. It is a policy document containing information and recommendations which municipalities may choose to use and follow. However, the local affordable housing plans will be adopted by the participating municipalities and, pursuant to state statute, will contain guidance on the creation of additional affordable housing units in that municipality.
What is the timeline for completion of the Regional Housing Plan?
The project kicked off in May 2021 and will be completed by June 2022. While the timeline is aggressive, it is driven by the statutory requirement that all 8-30j plans be completed by that time.
How can I get involved in the Regional Housing Plan process?
There will be several opportunities to participate in the creation of the Regional Housing Plan. Visit the website often for dates of upcoming regional presentations and town specific events.
Where can I learn more about the Regional Housing Plan?
Explore the project website and participate in future outreach events. Any questions not answered here can be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line, “RHP – Questions and Comments.” Please include your name and which city or town you are from.
How is work on the Regional Housing Plan Funded?
Work on the Regional Housing Plan is funded through RiverCOG’s Regional Services Grant, our primary operating grant from the state. In addition, some municipalities have contributed funding for the creation of their 8-30j plans which are being created as part of this project.