Testimony Before the Joint Committee on Housing
Amy Dowell, Connecticut State Director
Education Reform Now Connecticut
March 3, 2022
Re: S.B. No. 169, An Act Concerning a Study of the Effects of Affordable Housing Policies in the State
Chairmen Lopes and Williams, Vice Chairs Anwar and Smith, Ranking Members Cicarella and Polletta, and Members of the Joint Committee on Housing, my name is Amy Dowell, and I am the State Director of ERN CT. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony today in opposition to S.B. 169, An Act Concerning a Study of the Effects of Affordable Housing Policies in the State.
Section 8-30g plays a pivotal role in motivating inclusivity in Connecticut towns. Under this Section, more than 7,500 affordable housing units have been created in Connecticut, building new opportunities for families who otherwise might not have them.
Unjust housing practices have hampered the state’s promise to provide a high-quality public education to all students for decades. In many suburban communities, anti-density policies perpetuate segregated communities and schools, with a serious impact on the persistent educational opportunity gaps in Connecticut.
After all, educational resources are clearly linked to housing value: our school funding system relies heavily on local property taxes. When the state’s housing systems divide communities along economic and racial lines, it also embeds stark differences in the education resources that can be seen between towns right next door to one another. These disparities do not serve students, the state economy, or the best interests of their own communities.
With an eye towards developing a more inclusive state, we support policies that strengthen Section 8-30g to enable the creation of affordable housing in communities across the state. We oppose legislation that transparently aims to undermine that effort.
I therefore urge you to oppose S.B. 169.