HOME Connecticut Campaign
HOMEConnecticut is a statewide campaign aimed at increasing the stock of affordable housing in Connecticut. The campaign was created to preserve the quality of life and the strong, competitive economy that has distinguished Connecticut, but which is now threatened by a dramatic lack of housing affordable to working families and individuals.
HOMEConnecticut’s proposal to provide incentives to municipalities that allow creation of higher density, affordable housing has successfully made it through the budget process, although it was not authorized in full.
Please click the link below to the Partnership for Strong Communities web site for updates on Housing Policy Briefs.
Incentive Housing Zone Program
History: P.A. 07-04 – Administered by the Office of Policy and Management. The Act provides incentives to municipalities for creating Incentive Housing Zones (IHZ) in eligible locations, such as, near transit facilities, an area of concentrated development or an area that because of existing, planned or proposed infrastructure is suitable for development as an IHZ.
Purpose: A municipality’s zoning commission must establish the IHZ as an overlay zone. A municipality receives the incentives only for Incentive Housing Developments (IHDs) that are developed in a state-approved IHZ. An IHD means a residential or mixed-use development that meets the following criteria – is located within an approved IHZ, is eligible for financial incentive payments, and sets aside lower cost units for a minimum of 20% of the households earning 80% or less of area median income (AMI) for 30 years. A unit is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a person’s annual income to live there.
The IHZ must be consistent with the State Plan of Conservation and Development and be located in an eligible location, regulations of the IHZ shall permit, as of right, incentive housing development, must comply with minimum allowable density requirements, the minimum as of right density allowed by the IHZ must increase the density allowed by the underlying zone by at least 25%, IHZ requirement is subject to site plan or subdivision procedures, but not subject to special permit or special exception procedures/requirements/standards, IHZ may consist of one or more sub-zones, and IHZ land area may not exceed 10% of the total land area or aggregate area comprised of IHZ and sub-zones in a municipality may not exceed 25%.
Within available appropriations, the Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, may make grants to nonprofit housing assistance or nonprofit housing development organizations in order to support predevelopment, development, construction and management of housing developments in IHZ.
The following provides more detail on IHZ.
The following document outlines the Act Implementing Incentive Housing Zones.
Partnership for Strong Communities
The Partnership for Strong Communities (“PSC”) plays a vital role in shaping solutions to end homelessness, develop healthy neighborhoods and to create more affordable housing opportunities for workers, young professionals and families. To learn more about PSC please go to the link below:
Connecticut Association of Realtors Inc.
The Connecticut Association of Realtors Inc. (“CAR”) also plays a significant role in lobbying efforts and influencing policy changes regarding real estate issues in Connecticut. The Realtors often host Lobbying Days at the Capitol in Hartford to speak to our State Senators and Representatives about issues which have an impact on real estate in our State. Please see the files below for recent issues.
For additional information, you may also contact Tim Calnen, CAR VP of Government Affairs at (860) 290-6601.
Here are three wins for REALTORS and homeowners:
SB 78: Implementation of the “Learn Here, Live Here” Program Originally, this CAR-supported bill directed the State’s Economic Development Commissioner to carry-out the home buying incentive program authorized by lawmakers back in 2011. For skilled workers graduating from eligible training/educational institutions, special accounts would be set up for their income taxes to be fully dedicated to their very own first home purchase. The higher education facilities must be located in Connecticut, but SB 78 broadens choices to include both private and public schools and a host of training providers for special skills, like occupational therapy, physical therapy, dental hygiene, medical practice and the healing arts. Plumbing and heating, precision manufacturing and similar fields are already included under the regional-vo-tech classification. A last-minute amendment pushed by the administration weakened the bill by continuing to make its implementation contingent on the discretion of the Commissioner. If actually implemented, those graduating on or after January 1, 2014 can set aside $2,500 of annual income tax liability for a home purchase, up to maximum of $25,000. Passed and signed by the Governor as PA 12-75.
HB 5224: Pilot Urban Homeownership Program Succeeds in Special Session This REALTOR®-backed, anti-blight initiative uses existing state resources to leverage private funds to foster revitalized neighborhoods. Attention is focused on areas with a high proportion of 1-to-4 family homes, including bank-owned and investor-owned properties. A pilot program is to be run in at least one distressed municipality, which will be selected by January 1 by DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. Boards of REALTORS® are specifically mentioned in the legislation as resources to be drawn upon. Recipients of assistance must agree to remain owner — occupants for at least five years or agree to transfer the home to a person who will occupy it as his or her primary residence for at least five years. HB 5224 had passed the House but stalled in the Senate during the regular session. Passed during special session as part of HB 6001 (p. 303); signed by Governor as PA 12-1.
SB 16: License Law Exemptions for Home Builders Employees Opposed by CAR, this bill would have allowed employees of new home construction contractors to engage in the real estate business without a license. Bill was defeated in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.