Testimony on SB 1024: An Act concerning Zoning Authority, certain design guidelines, Qualifications of Certain Land Use Officials and Certain Sewage Disposal Solutions.

Planning and Development Committee

March 15, 2021

Submitted: William M. Knoegel, L.C.S.W.

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT. Chapter representing over 2300 members, we are in support of Committee Bill SB 1024. As Social Workers, we face the task in assisting in finding housing for homeless, seniors, disabled people, veterans, low income and working-class families. Based on findings of the Urban Institute, we need to address the decline of new construction in multi-family units and apartments. We are also concerned with the decline of thousands of units with expiring Section 8 housing assistance. There is currently a gap of 86,000 units of affordable housing for very low-income households.

We know that where people reside in their respective zip codes, will predict the quality and longevity of life outcomes and expectancy. Only 5% of all black children live in upscale neighborhoods according to Harvard University of Quarterly Journal of Economics. According to City Commentary, black households have 42 % lower incomes to white households. Hispanic Households are even lower.

According to Optics Design, 78 % of Americans want to live in a mix of ages and 68% prefer a mix of cultures and backgrounds. According to the Urban Land Institute, 76 % of Americans are interested in walkable lifestyles and 50% consider it a high priority. That doesn’t include aiding local merchants and business along with improving mass transit hubs. According to the National Home Builders Association, 59% of millennials are looking for missing middle housing in the for sale and rental markets.

I am a retired Social Worker of 42 years. I am also a resident of Southington, that has been in the top five residential single home building permits for the last 20 years. I am also on the Board of the Southington Conservation Land Trust. In my quest to stem single home building, I have never desired to see a suppression of viable multiple dwellings for low income, disabled, seniors, veteran affordable housing. You can have responsible land management that coincides with meeting the demands of the underserved.

In closing, I hope that the Planning and Development Committee will approve the SB 1024 and pass it on the larger legislative body.

Thank you for your time and attention,

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