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CT bill aimed at creating new housing near transportation hubs dies in state Senate

State House lawmakers approved the “Work, Live, Ride,” bill, but it was a victim of the lengthy senate discussion process and a late-night filibuster.
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State House lawmakers approved the “Work, Live, Ride,” bill, but it was a victim of the lengthy senate discussion process and a late-night filibuster.

An effort to increase new housing near transportation hubs across Connecticut failed to make it past the state Senate at the legislative session’s close.

The “Work, Live, Ride,” bill would create financial incentives for cities and towns that develop new affordable housing along main bus and rail stops. It was proposed by housing advocacy nonprofit Desegregate Connecticut.

Pete Harrison, former director of Desegregate CT, said the legislative session was still a success.

“From the larger perspective of winning this argument that the housing crisis and climate crisis are one in the same and we need dramatic action at the state level,” Harrison said. “I think we're winning that argument.”

The bill was designed to increase affordable housing by establishing special districts to increase housing supply near transit hubs.

It would also legalize new, efficient housing choices like starter homes and give communities money to boost affordable housing production.

Many residents are supportive of the bill, but legislators are holding it back, Harrison said.

“It's that translation from the lived experience of constituents into the halls of power, we're making progress there. It's still a frustrating process,” Harrison said.

State House lawmakers approved the “Work, Live, Ride,” bill, but it was a victim of the lengthy Senate discussion process and a late-night filibuster, according to Democratic State Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw, who represents Avon.

“The Senate calendar and how it ran this year, there were a lot of longer debates,” Kavros DeGraw said. “There were many bills that had, went five and six hours. And so I think that it really was more of a time thing.”

The bulk of the bill was approved last year. It established the state’s Office of Responsible Growth which heads up the state’s revitalization, conservation and development efforts.

This year’s version of the bill is focused on the community guidelines of transit oriented developments, increasing environmental protections and paving the way for more affordable housing development.

Harrison and DeGraw said they intend to revive the bill in the next legislative session.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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