New Canaan Housing Authority

Recent Articles

‘It’s a Win-Win’: New Canaan Earns Four Years of Relief from Developers’ Loophole in State Affordable Housing Law

New Canaan on Tuesday received state approval for four years of relief from a law that allows developers to skirt local planning decisions by designating a certain percentage of units in new projects as “affordable.”

The Department of Housing issued the town a “Certificate of Affordable Housing Completion,” according to a notice published in the Connecticut Law Journal. It provides for a temporary moratorium from the requirements of the Affordable Housing Appeals Act—a state law often referred to by its statute number, “8-30g,” that long has loomed over New Canaan and other lower Fairfield County towns. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi called the moratorium—earned by New Canaan because it has added a significant amount of affordable units to its overall housing stock, almost all at Mill Pond—a “home run on two fronts.”

“Not only do we get the pressure out from beneath us from outsiders who may not have a New Canaan-centric desire to build housing that’s not in keeping with the feel of the town, but we also got an increase in our affordable house stock, and can offer housing to more people than we could six or seven years ago,” Mallozzi said. “So it’s a win-win and we were able to do it on our own terms, and that is huge.”

New Canaan has added about 90 units of affordable housing since 2010, Mallozzi said. The specter of 8-30g loomed over the Planning & Zoning Commission at the time New Canaan approved the redevelopment of Jelliff Mill into condos—an agreement that followed a lengthy, contentious legal battle and in the end required the builder to put money into a town fund that’s used for affordable housing development. Continue Reading →

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‘We Felt That It Was Not Humane’: Housing Authority Rescinds ‘Declawing’ Requirement for Residents’ Cats

Responding to concerns from animal welfare advocates, officials from the New Canaan Housing Authority say they’re moving away from a requirement that residents of affordable rental units at Millport Avenue have their cats “declawed.”

Banned in many countries, declawing typically involves amputating the last bone of each toe on a cat—the equivalent of cutting off each finger at the last knuckle on a person, according to the Humane Society of the United States. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Demolition of Final 18 ‘Old’ Housing Units at Millport Imminent; Plan To Rebuild with 36 New Units by Year’s End

The New Canaan Building Department has received applications to demolish 18 public housing units toward the rear of the large complex that fronts Mill Pond—a signal that plans are underway to complete the final phase of a massive rebuilding project there that started about eight years ago. Once the Millport Avenue project is complete, the New Canaan Housing Authority will have increased the total number of units there from 32 to 112, officials said. The 18 units located “up the hill” at Millport, in the neighborhood’s parlance, will be razed and rebuilt with 36 total apartments, half of which will remain federally defined “public housing” while half will become “affordable housing” under state statutes, according to Scott Hobbs, chairman of the Housing Authority Commission. Those who live currently in those 18 units will move into some of the 73 recently completed apartments, located in new buildings that front Millport Avenue. The town issued Certificates of Occupancy for those new units, and—with an expert’s help—is pursuing a four-year moratorium from a state law that developers may use to skirt local planning decisions. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan To Tap Expert in Getting Out from Under Developer’s Affordable Housing Loophole

Officials are tapping an area expert to help put together an application that they hope will exempt New Canaan from a state law that could open the town to unwanted building projects. The Board of Selectmen at a regular meeting Tuesday will vote on a fee appropriation of $6,000 to $12,000 for Ridgefield’s recently retired town planner. Betty Brosius oversaw Ridgefield’s handling of more than 10 applications submitted under the Affordable Housing Appeals Act, often referred to by its statute number, “8-30g.”

As New Canaan nears issuance of Certificates of Occupancy for rebuilt affordable housing units at Mill Pond, the town is preparing an application to the state that would garner a four-year moratorium from 8-30g. It will be the first time New Canaan has ever prepared such an application, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi told NewCanaanite.com when asked about the agenda item. “Betty was a drive force in Ridgefield and we are very, very happy to have her,” Mallozzi said. Continue Reading →

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Officials Study ‘Canaan Parish’ Apartments for Possible Affordable Housing Redevelopment

Town officials say they’re looking into whether a privately owned, 1979-built apartment complex on Lakeview Avenue could be right for redevelopment with a greater number of affordable units. Located near the corner of Route 123, Canaan Parish includes 60 apartments and its tenants get rental assistance through the Section 8 federal housing program. It is owned by Stamford-based New Canaan Neighborhoods Inc., whose president is town resident Chris Hussey, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records. According to Scott Hobbs, who serves as chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority, the site likely “is not as well utilized as modern layout would, so if we could rejuvenate some of it, it would make sense.” “The reality is that it would make more sense to tear it down and rearrange everything and get more units in there,” Hobbs told members of the Board of Finance at their regular meeting Tuesday night, held at Town Hall. “And I believe by doing that, we hopefully would possibly get to the second moratorium.”

He referred to a four-year moratorium from the state’s Affordable Housing Appeals Act, often called by its statute number, 8-30g. Continue Reading →

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