The Bristol Press – Plainville will hold a public workshop on the Affordable Housing Plan
PLAINVILLE – A public workshop on the Affordable Housing Plan will be held on April 26 at the Civic Center.
The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers in Room 304 of the Civic Center at 1 Place Centrale. The workshop will be organized by the Department of Planning and Zoning, with its team of consultants at SLR International Corporation.
There will be a “live polling exercise,” which will invite workshop participants to provide their thoughts on preferred strategies for how Plainville might approach adding new affordable housing. Those planning to attend are asked to bring their smart phones. The event will conclude with a question and answer segment.
Mark Devoe, urban planner, said the purpose of the meeting is “to expand the city’s knowledge and understanding of housing affordability and its connection to Plainville.”
“The goal is to introduce ideas and get feedback from attendees regarding the creation of the Plainville Affordable Housing Plan (AHP), as required by state law,” he said. .
The workshop will provide background and educational information on the concepts of housing affordability, an overview of relevant Plainville demographic and housing data, and an analysis of current housing needs in Plainville.
“The workshop will highlight key themes and responses from the online community survey, followed by a discussion of various local strategies for creating housing affordability options in Plainville,” Devoe said.
City Manager Robert E. Lee said the city received a $15,000 grant from the state Department of Housing to develop an affordable housing plan.
“According to state law, municipalities are required to develop a plan this year,” Lee said. “We applied for a state grant, went through the announcement process, and interviewed businesses to conduct the survey. After receiving feedback from residents, they will go through planning and zoning to adopt a plan.”
Devoe said the state legislation is tied to the Affordable Housing Appeals Act.
“Each city must, by legislative decree, do a study,” Devoe said. “It’s not so much looking at what each community has for affordable housing, but the delta between what it has and what the state says it should have. The state says communities should have 10% of their city’s units as affordable housing.
Devoe said affordable housing can be natural, such as low monthly rent apartments, or can result from various types of assistance. To meet Connecticut General Statute 8-30g criteria and be considered affordable, housing can occur in the following ways:
. Government assistance – property that has received financial assistance that requires housing to be provided to low-income households at affordable rates.
. Assisted Tenant – property occupied by households receiving housing assistance.
. Single family properties purchased with CHFA or USDA mortgages.
. Restricted Deed – property legally reserved for occupancy by low-income households at affordable rates.
Affordable housing is described as housing that costs 30% or less of household income for households earning less than 80% of the state or area median income (AMI), whichever is lower.
Income limits are updated annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to HUD, in 2019, about 3,265 Plainville households (42.7% of total households) earned less than 80% of the AMI.
“This means that if a family of four earns less than $79,900 per year and spends more than $1,998 on monthly housing costs (including utilities and insurance), then housing is considered unaffordable” , Devoe said. “The same goes for someone who earns less than $55,950 a year and spends more than $1,398 a month.”
The state legislature requires municipalities to update their affordable housing plan every 5 years. This is separate from the towns’ conservation and development plan, which is updated every 10 years, but will be included in the conservation and development plan.
“We want to avoid the old, broken model of building a concentration of low-income housing en bloc in one place,” Devoe said. “This plan calls for the construction of a percentage of affordable housing. They call it “inclusive zoning”.
For questions, contact Mark DeVoe at 860-793-0221 Ext. 7177.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]