In 2017, Connecticut Public Act 17-170 called upon each town and municipality to develop an affordable housing plan. The plans must be adopted and filed with the state by June 1, 2022, and every five years thereafter. The plan should be consistent with each town’s development and conservation plans.
Last fall, representatives from Granby’s Board of Selectmen, Planning and Zoning, Development, and Aging, as well as two residents selected by the Republican and Democratic Town Committees, respectively, formed the Affordable Housing Plan Committee to begin work on Granby’s plan. The committee members, chosen by the Board of Selectmen, bring diverse perspectives and expertise to the group.
The committee has gathered information regarding town growth, demographics, housing inventory, zoning, wetlands considerations and sewer availability. It found that 14 percent of Granby households struggle to afford basic needs, and that the town has 143 housing units that meet the state’s definition of affordable housing.
The committee also met with developers, who outlined what makes a town desirable for affordable housing developments. It learned that a lack of public transportation is not always a detraction, but that walkability to stores, restaurants and services is a necessity.
Beyond meeting state requirements, affordable housing is also a goal supported by Granby Racial Reconciliation (GranbyRacialReconcilation.com), a community organization focused on racial reconciliation in Granby. During the summer of 2021, GRR conducted a survey to identify topics of interest for its Courageous Conversations on Race in the Park series. Ken Mouning, the facilitator for the series, said, “The top two topics of interest were increasing diversity in Granby and affordable housing. Therefore, in August 2021 we hosted a discussion on affordable housing, presented by Desegregate Connecticut and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.” At this talk, Sara Bronin from Desegregate Connecticut shared a video from SegregatedByDesign.com that helps explain the circumstances under which many American communities became segregated.
In addition to the goal of increasing diversity, affordable housing makes it possible for multiple generations of families to grow together in one town. Empty nesters, recent college graduates and young families all need access to affordable housing. When Granby can offer this, the community remains a place where grandparents can live nearby and it can continue to attract young professionals who will put down roots and call Granby home for years to come.
Using guidelines established by the state and frameworks used by towns that have already filed plans, such as Farmington and Essex, the Granby Affordable Housing Committee hopes to present recommendations and a plan draft to the Board of Selectmen by April. The Board of Selectmen will then be responsible for approving or modifying the plan. To learn more, go to granby-ct.gov/affordable-housing-plan-committee to review minutes from previous meetings. Agendas for upcoming meetings, with time and place for the meetings, are posted on this site three to five days prior to meetings.
Affordable Housing Plan draft available by March 10
The draft of the Affordable Housing Plan will be available for review and posted on the town’s website by March 10. Please refer to the webpage: granby-ct.gov/affordable-housing-plan-committee
If you are unable to view the plan online, a hard copy of the plan will be available in the Community Development Department. Public comments will be received by the committee at its meeting on Thursday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room. If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit written comments, send them to Abigail Kenyon, Director of Community Development, firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the committee completes the draft plan, it will be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen. Please refer to the town’s webpage for all committee meeting agendas and minutes.