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Grant Sets Stage for Affordable Housing in Windsor Locks

South Windsor will use a $20,000 grant from the state to analyze workforce housing needs and identify potential "Incentive Housing Zone" locations in town.

Credit: Patch File Photo
Credit: Patch File Photo
Written by Gary Jeanfaivre

Windsor Locks is one of nine municipalities that was awarded a state grant Thursday related to Incentive Housing Zones (IHZ).

According to a press release from the governor's office, Windsor Locks is receiving a $20,000 grant that will help to analyze workforce housing needs, identify potential IHZ locations, draft potential IHZ regulations and design standards.

The other towns that were awarded grants are Andover, Barkhamsted, Canaan, Clinton, Enfield, Guilford and North Stonington.

“Incentive Housing Zones are good public policy because they promote both affordable and market-rate housing and mixed-use developments in residential and business districts,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “These zones can help communities relieve congestion and avoid sprawl by creating more vibrant neighborhoods near businesses and existing transportation connections — allowing people to walk or take public transit to work, to visit cultural attractions, or just to enjoy an evening out.”

The Grant Program & IHZ

Here's more information about this grant an IHZ, from a press release from Malloy's office:

The Department of Housing will award a total of $210,000 in funding through the Housing for Economic Growth Program, also known as HomeCT.  This is a voluntary program that provides financial incentives such as technical assistance grants, predevelopment funds, zone adoption grants and building permit grants to municipalities that create affordable housing by designating areas as an IHZ within the municipality.

An IHZ allows for residential or mixed-use developments that set aside a minimum of 20 percent of the units for households earning 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) for minimum of 30 years. A unit is affordable if it costs no more than 30 percent of a person’s annual income.

“This funding is vitally necessary and an important tool for those municipal leaders that are taking on the issues of housing and affordability within their communities,” Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein said.  “Incentive Housing Zones are still a relatively new concept. These grants help communities better understand their needs, plan and analyze developments, and establish the structure and framework that can help them move projects quickly from the planning stage to the permit and construction phase.”

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