Report Offers 44 Routes To Affordable Housing

Thomas Breen photoThe Affordable Housing Task Force has released its final 21-page report in preparation for a vote on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The report proposes 44 different recommendations for how the city and the Board of Alders can best address New Haven’s affordable housing crisis.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

The housing panel, which the Board of Alders created in March 2018 after a public debate about the conversion of the Hotel Duncan and the loss of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) dwellings downtown, convened six public meetings between June 2018 and January 2019.

At the most recent meeting, the group previewed some of the recommendations detailed in the final report, which the body will vote on on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers on the second floor of City Hall before delivering the report to the Board of Alders to review and draft legislation around.

Some of the recommendations include:

• Creating a permanent Affordable Housing Commission;
• Funding an inclusionary zoning feasibility study;
• Lobbying the state to allow the municipal housing authority to create low-income housing in surrounding suburbs;
• Increasing awareness of city-owned vacant lots and creating an inventory of privately-owned vacant lots;
• Eliminating parking requirements for new housing developments;
• Converting city-owned parking lots into affordable housing where appropriate;
• Increasing the staffing of the Fair Rent Commission and anti-blight Livable City Initiative (LCI)
• Delegating housing development functions to the Economic Development Corporation of the City of New Haven and returning LCI’s focus to enforcement

“Over the course of its work the Task Force heard testimony from residents, state and federal policy experts, elected officials, developers, advocates, and activists,” the report’s executive summary reads. “AHTF [Affordable Housing Task Force] members engaged their own subject knowledge expertise as well as the passionate and creative proposals presented by those engaged in the process.”

Click here to view the documents that the panel received and reviewed as it crafted its recommendations.

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posted by: wendy1 on January 21, 2019  7:36am

Please interview Liam Brennan to find out what he thinks of this “digested” version of his proposals coming from the BOA.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on January 21, 2019  11:34am

“Lobbying the state to allow the municipal housing authority to to create low-income housing in surrounding suburbs”. **This is the most important initiative.** By CT statute, every city and town should have a minimum of 10 percent of its housing units affordable. In the 15-town South Central Connecticut region, only three municipalities do this: New Haven (32 percent), Meriden (16.1 percent) and West Haven (13.2 percent.). Suburban towns continue to flout the law and trying to change this via court action will take forever and be expensive. Instead, New Haven simply should start buying suburban land and begin building. The alternative—increasing low-income housing in New Haven—will further erode New Haven’s tax base and create even more racial and economic segregation in our neighborhoods and in our public schools.

posted by: BevHills730 on January 21, 2019  11:46am

Wendy this is coming from the Affordable Housing Task Force, not the BOA.  The BOA will act on the recommendations that this Task Force made.  If you become mayor, it will be important to understand these processes.

posted by: Dennis Serf on January 22, 2019  1:22pm

A few questions to those in the know:

1. If you REALLY want to know about a report, it helps to know WHO authored, assisted and researched it.  Previous reporting listed Liam Brennan and Yale graduate students. As a taxpayer it would be nice to know who it is that is telling us what we should be doing with OUR money in OUR neighborhoods.  Other than the names of the people below, who else was involved with the report (and what is their area of expertise in housing)?

Dolores Colon, Alder, Ward 6; Chair, Board of Alders Black and Hispanic Caucus
Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton, President, Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven
Rev. Bonita Grubbs, Executive Director, Christian Community Action
Otis Johnson, Jr., Executive Director, Fair Rent Commission
Erin Kemple, Executive Director, Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Edward Mattison, Chair, City Plan Commission
Serena Neal-Sanjurjo, Executive Director, Livable City Initiative
Facilitator Aaron Greenberg, Alder, Ward 8

2. Where are the numbers to show how much these items would cost (and who would pay)?

3. Why no specifics with respect to where the SRO’s would go?

Dennis Serfilippi
https://www.ournewhaven.org/

posted by: BevHills730 on January 22, 2019  7:15pm

So the new “Take Back” campaign has a platform of denying new affordable housing and disenfranchising anyone who lives in current affordable housing.  Maybe Dennis should get a job with Kris Kobach or Wilbur Ross.

posted by: Dennis Serf on January 22, 2019  8:49pm

Bevhills: Not true, sorry to disappoint. I’ve clearly touched a nerve with you. You must be part of the New Haven political class that feels challenged by Our New Haven.

posted by: Noteworthy on January 22, 2019  11:26pm

This report suggests new taxes, lots of funding and mandates…even says one of the most useless departments in the whole city - the Affordable Rent Commission - be expanded. Good lord. Not one word about how taxes make our homes unaffordable. Not. One. Word.

And of course KDW wants more state granted powers to shove affordable housing down the throats of our neighbors. I love the Bethany example - 20 miles outside of town and 30 minutes or more from any social services they need, no public transportation and a “poor” family would need s car because it’s so rural. Do any of these task force people ever drive outside the city?

Ever think there’s a practical reason why? Or do they expect Bethany to bus their poor in the new affordable units into New Haven? And are we, the homeowners supposed to bear more taxes for all this? This is full of flaws and impractical confiscstory dreams. Not a fan.