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News Jul 21, 2013 - 9:58:34 AM

State awards incentive housing zone grants

By Governor Malloy's office

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Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein, recently announced that ten Connecticut towns have each been awarded grants for predevelopment costs associated with establishing incentive housing zones in their respective communities. The towns include: Brookfield, Burlington, Canton, Durham, Fairfield, Haddam, Milford, North Stonington, Ridgefield, and Stonington.

“Our state’s ability to attract young workers, families and businesses that provide jobs and increased revenue is dependent on the availability of various types of housing opportunities,” Governor Malloy said. “Incentive housing zones are an important tool that communities can use to promote high-quality workforce housing, revitalize vacant or underutilized properties, increase pedestrian activity, support businesses, and make better use of existing public infrastructure.”

The state Department of Housing (DOH) will award a total of $197,800 in funding through the Housing for Economic Growth Program, also known as HomeCT. This program provides financial incentives, such as technical assistance grants, predevelopment funds, zone adoption grants and building permit grants, to municipalities that create affordable housing by designating areas as Incentive Housing Zones (IHZ) within the municipality.

An IHZ allows for residential or mixed-use developments that set aside a minimum of 20% of the units for households earning 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) for a minimum of 30 years. A unit is affordable if the rent is no more than 30 percent of a household’s annual income.

“I am encouraged by the level of interest by municipalities that want to create mixed-use and mixed-income housing for their residents,” Commissioner Klein said. “This predevelopment financing is an important first step toward creating much-needed workforce housing in their communities.”

The awards are as follows:

Brookfield — The town will receive $20,000 to prepare design guidelines that will help the town’s planning and zoning commissioners amend zoning regulations per IHZ requirements.
Burlington — The town will use its $17,800 grant for soil tests, to analyze and draft a housing plan, and to draft and present IHZ regulations.
Canton — A $20,000 grant will help the town identify opportunities and locations for a proposed IHZ.
Durham — The town will develop alternative site plans and hold workshops with its $20,000 grant.
Fairfield — The town will assess potential IHZ locations, design standards for consideration, and draft IHZ regulations with its $20,000 grant.
Haddam — The town will receive a $20,000 grant to study its housing needs, identify parcels, conduct a visioning session, and draft IHZ regulations.
Milford — A $20,000 grant will help the town determine the feasibility of creating an IHZ near the train station and draft regulations.
North Stonington — The town will use its $20,000 grant to offset engineering and legal review costs, and draft design standards and IHZ regulations.
Ridgefield — A $20,000 grant will help to determine feasibility of a proposed IHZ and draft IHZ regulations.
Stonington — The town will use its $20,000 grant for site selection, and drafting IHZ regulations and design standards.

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