Republicans also criticized the proposed growing role of the state Municipal Redevelopment Authority (MRDA), a quasi-public agency created in 2019 with a million-dollar budget and bonding authority to support affordable housing within a half mile of downtown transit hubs.
“I applaud the governor’s engagements and thoughts in regard to housing accessibility and growth in the state of Connecticut,” Sen. Tony Hwang said. “I think both Republicans and Democrats share the governor’s prioritization in that and understand there is a critical need.”
He said the redevelopment authority has had delays in getting members for its board.
“It has not truly demonstrated any initiative. For us to empower this quasi-public entity with what we are proposing in this bill is possibly putting the cart before the horse.”
Hwang said another problem he has with the proposal includes requirements that could allow builders to possibly skirt local requirements.
“What we will see as a common theme throughout many of these housing and zoning initiative bills, truly is the state exerting its will and saying to the local municipality leaders that ‘We know better than you, and because you have not done certain things, we’re going to do it for you,’” Hwang said.
“That to me is over-reaching and a one-size-fits-all policy that does not ever work,” Hwang continued. “In order for us to have successful, sustainable and implementable programs that’ll benefit all parties involved, it needs to be collaborative. It needs to be built on trust in which local, federal and state officials all work together.”
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