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Housing issues affect everyone in Connecticut, from those who are searching for a safe place to live, to those who may find it increasingly difficult to afford a place they already call home.WNPR is covering Connecticut's housing and homelessness issues in a series that examines how residents are handling the challenges they face. We look at the trends that matter most right now, and tell stories that help bring the issues to light.

State Receives Grant to Study Transit-Oriented Development on Hartford Line

The Hartford Line is expected to create "prime sites" for retail shops, office space, and housing.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is making efforts to figure out how to develop land in certain parts of the state to encourage more use of public transportation.

Malloy's office announced this week that the state will receive a $700,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to conduct a study of transit-oriented development opportunities for the Hartford Line -- the commuter rail corridor planned from New Haven to Springfield.

In a statement, Malloy said the grant will help to identify development projects that will give the biggest bang for the buck. The state is also investing $200,000 in the study.

The state’s Congressional delegation said the Hartford Line will help commuters get to jobs more easily. It will also create what it called "prime sites" for buildings that include retail shops, office space, and housing.

This isn’t the first time this year the state has tried to figure out how to develop along transit corridors. In last year’s legislative session, Malloy’s office put forward a bill that would create a Transit Corridor Development Authority.

The legislation would have made it easier for the state to develop land within a half-mile radius of any of the state’s bus or rail stations.

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Credit Goody Clancy
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Goody Clancy
New Haven's "Hill-to-Downtown" community plan to create a "walkable, mixed-use medical, research, residential, and retail district between downtown New Haven and the Hill neighborhood." The area is adjacent to the city's Union Station.

An early draft of that bill would have given the new agency the power of eminent domain, which defenders of the bill said was no different from what the state can already do. But many localities pushed back, saying the bill went too far.

The upcoming study will focus on North Haven, Newington, West Hartford, and Enfield -- as well as two newly located stations in Windsor and Windsor Locks.

Keep up with other transportation news from around the state at WNPR's Zoned blog.

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