State Housing Department: No One Told Moynihan Moratorium Application Would Be Approved

State officials deny that New Canaan had been “led to believe” its application for four years of relief from a widely discussed affordable housing law would be approved, as First Selectman Kevin Moynihan recently asserted. Moynihan had said during the Oct. 4 Board of Selectmen meeting that “we expect to get our moratorium on November 1st.” 

He added, “We’ve been told by—led to believe, I would say—by the Housing Department that we are going to get our moratorium. If that does not occur then that will be ‘all bets off’ in terms of where we are.”

The Connecticut Department of Housing denied the application about two weeks later. Yet while the matter had been pending, the land use attorney representing a local developer in applying for an affordable housing project at Weed and Elm Streets, Tim Hollister, asked the DOH to explain Moynihan’s comments.  

“I recognize that the Department has no obligation to respond to such a request, but given the alleged circumstance – the First Selectman of a municipality with a pending moratorium application asserting that ‘the Department’ in a private conversation led him and Town to believe that the application will be approved, over the objections filed – is simply contrary to how this public process should proceed,” Hollister said in an Oct. 18 email obtained by “If the First Selectman is misstating what he was told, then the Department should explain that.

Attorney: Moynihan Made ‘Several Inaccurate Comments’ During Affordable Housing Discussion

An attorney for a developer seeking to build at least two multifamily projects in New Canaan under the state’s affordable housing law is calling out the town’s highest elected official for inaccurate statements made during a recent public meeting. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan told members of New Canaan’s legislative body last month that “it came as a great surprise” in May that “the rules had changed” with respect to how the state counts affordable units in towns that are seeking to apply for relief from a law widely known by its statute number, 8-30g. Yet “[t]he -30g moratorium rules with regard to deductions of points for units that have been demolished (a requirement overlooked in the Town’s recent application) did not ‘change recently,’ ” attorney Tim Hollister noted in a July 6 letter sent to Moynihan via an email to town employee Tucker Murphy, as well as to the full Town Council. 

“The rules were adopted by the General Assembly in 2000, in Public Act 00- 206,” Hollister noted. “The rules have not changed since then. The Department of Housing enforced these rules in 2019 with respect to Westport’s moratorium application, but DOH did not change the rules.”

The letter, obtained by which made a public records request for it, was sent to town officials in response to several representations that Moynihan made before the Town Council during its June 15 meeting.