Little has more impact on our daily lives than conditions in the towns where we live. All of us care about ensuring that those of modest means aren’t priced out of the housing market, but the enclosed piece poses an important question: With the best of intentions, what if the state laws meant to solve the affordable housing issue have, instead, exacerbated it?
As always, Yankee Institute is committed to offering solutions. We provide some commonsense ways our state and towns could ease the housing shortages that send prices soaring.
Yet there’s another important theme that underlies the entire discussion: the importance of localism. At YI, we’re convinced that localism is nearly always best to leave policy decisions to the smallest unit of government — local, state, federal — that’s equipped to handle the issue.
Not only does this allow for policy differentiation among our 169 unique towns and municipalities, it also makes each citizen’s voice proportionately louder. And that allows our representative democracy to work as intended by our Founders.
Finally, in recent years, housing discussions have been muddied by distracting accusations about racism or classism. Such charges produce more heat than light and are too often a way to bully others into agreement rather than reaching a consensus to help those who need it most.
There is no place for illegal discrimination in housing (or anywhere else). If it’s taking place, it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Otherwise, it’s time for all of us to assume good will on the parts of those with whom we may disagree — and get to work making Connecticut a place that everyone wants to call “home.”
This paper, the fourth and final of our policy reports for 2023, addresses issues surrounding housing in Connecticut, including:
- Connecticut and 8-30g
- How the Housing Crisis Emerged
- What We Can Do to Move Forward
- Keeping Housing Local
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