State awards town incentive housing zone grant

The Connecticut Department of Housing has awarded Fairfield a $20,000 grant to assist the town in updating its affordable housing plan and to explore opportunities to create incentive housing zones.

Fairfield is one of only 10 communities in the state to receive this key funding. Other towns include Brookfield, Burlington, Canton, Durham, 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,” Gov. Dannel 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 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% 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% of a household’s annual income.

“This funding will allow our town to assess potential IHZ locations, design standards for consideration and draft IHZ regulations which can help create mixed-income housing,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. “It is important that we provide mixed-use and mixed-income housing for our residents.”

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