Working to Desegregate Connecticut
SB 1024 – An Act Concerning Zoning Authority, Certain Design Guidelines, Qualifications Of Certain Land Use Officials And Certain Sewage Disposal Systems.
This bill is but a beginning step in the long and important process of correcting decades of discriminatory housing policy in Connecticut. Connecticut historically has been one of the most segregated states in the nation based on both income and race.
Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow from the Brookings Institution testified during the session:
First, restrictive zoning leads to high housing costs, which in turn impedes regional labor markets, making it harder for employers to hire and retain workers. Second, limiting housing development near job centers and public transit leads more workers to undertake long-distance solo car commutes, worsening traffic and creating harmful environmental impacts. Third, exclusionary zoning by affluent, mostly white communities exacerbates regional racial and economic segregation, limiting Black and Latino families’ access to high-opportunity communities . . .
Statewide intervention is necessary because the costs associated with restrictive zoning extend far beyond the borders of any one municipality, distorting regional labor markets, driving up emissions, and entrenching residential segregation.
If you are interested in finding out more about this critical topic, check out DesegregateCT.org for more information. This organization represents a coalition of neighbors and nonprofits who believe in creating abundant, diverse housing in service of equity, inclusive prosperity, and a cleaner environment. The Desegregate CT website contains many helpful resources. The platform page contains simple explanations of the bill proposals, but also provides deeper and more complex information for those who are interested. Two proposals were removed from the original bill – 1) housing on main streets and 2) transit-oriented development. The site also provides information on these proposals and continue to work to restore them to the bill.