New Canaan submits affordable housing moratorium application
Published 5:18 pm, Tuesday, April 11, 2017
NEW CANAAN — A four-year affordable housing moratorium looks to be nearing reality for the town.
The moratorium, which would be the town’s first, would ban developers from using a loophole in the state’s law, which requires that 10 percent of housing stock in every municipality in the state be affordable. Towns not adequately working toward that number become vulnerable to the wishes of developers who, so long as they provide a certain percentage of affordable housing in their proposed plans, can avoid some zoning regulations.
To ensure success in the moratorium application process, the Board of Selectmen in December approved a contract with Betty Brosius, Ridgefield’s former town planner and drafter of several successful applications.
“I believe that we are in good shape. The town’s consultant Betty Brosius has done a great job shepherding this technical process,” Chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority Scott Hobbs.
Brosius said in an email to town officials that the application was filed at the end of March. A letter of receipt was sent by Commissioner of the State Department of Housing Evonne M. Klein on April 4, though the official receipt date is March 30. From the official receipt date, the state will have a maximum 90 days to review the application and make a decision.
“Assuming that there are not any technical issues which could delay things, we should hear back sometime between mid-May and mid-July about our first moratorium,” Hobbs said.
The application was filed with the expectation that the second phase of building at Millport Apartments would soon be complete which, including phase one, would result in 73 additional affordable housing units in town.
Though New Canaan is still far from 10 percent of its housing being considered affordable, recent building has gotten the town to a point, based on a state point system, where it qualifies for the moratorium. Should the moratorium be achieved, Hobbs said the town will continue to build affordable housing and work toward future moratoriums.
“This is very exciting and we are optimistic that it will go well,” Hobbs said.