Making Democracy Work

Affordable Housing Position (2005)

(In 2006, the 1988 Designed Residence District Zoning Regulation position was wrapped into the 2005 Affordable Housing position.)

The current position of the Fairfield League, as adopted in 1977, states: The League of Women Voters of Fairfield supports increasing the supply of housing in Fairfield for people of all ages whose income is less than 80 percent of Fairfield's median household income.

The League maintains the 1977 position and supports the following measures to achieve the goal of that position:

  • Inclusionary Zoning: This provision mandates that a certain percentage of units in every new multi-unit residential development be affordable for low-income households. Developers can be offered alternative methods of compliance at the discretion of the zoning authority. These alternatives include Fee-In-Lieu payment, Land Dedication, dedication of Existing Units, and Off-Site Construction.
  • Commercial Linkage: Under this provision, a portion of the total commercial building permit fees collected annually by the Town are placed in an Affordable-Housing Fund.
  • Budget Allocation: Under this provision, the town allocates monies annually to an Affordable-Housing Fund, either through budget appropriation and/or an appropriation of up to 10 percent of the unspent balance of the town budget (as determined by the Chief Fiscal Officer).
  • Affordable-Housing Fund: The monies collected under the Fee-In-Lieu Payment, Commercial Linkage, or Budget Allocation measures would be placed in an Affordable-Housing Fund, as permitted under state statutes.
  • Affordable-Housing Task Force: The existing Affordable-Hosing Task Force should become a permanent commission and should be formalized by inclusion in the Charter.

Affordable-Housing Density Bonus, Regulation 10.6.10 (Zoning Regulations, March 29, 2003) allows a density increase of 50 percent in return for the 10 percent inclusion of units to be sold or rented at or below prices, which will preserve units as "affordable housing." The League supports this bonus in principle with a possible reduction in the allowable 50 percent density increase.

Regulations 10.6.9 and 10.6.11 (Elderly Housing Density Bonuses) allow an increase of 50 percent or 25 percent respectively in return for a 100-percent or 25-percent respective occupancy by elderly families. While there may be reasons for support of these regulations, the League recognizes that, as currently written, they do not specifically promote affordable elderly housing. They do not carry restrictions either as to the price of the units or the financial status of the elderly. The League encourages reconsideration by the Town regarding Elderly Density Bonuses, with the goals of increasing opportunities for "reasonably" priced senior housing, promoting full compliance with HUD senior-housing regulations, and allowing increased density at "measured rates."