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ERN CT Testimony Before the Planning and Development Committee

Amy Dowell, Connecticut State Director

Education Reform Now Connecticut

March 14, 2022

Re: HB 5429 - An Act Concerning Transit-Oriented Development

Co-Chairs Cassano and McCarthy, Vice Chairs Goupil and Needleman, Ranking Members Hwang and Zullo and Members of the Planning and Development Committee, my name is Amy Dowell, and I am the State Director of ERN CT. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony today in support of HB 5429.

In Connecticut, educational resources are linked to housing value because our school funding system relies heavily on local property taxes. Therefore, when the state’s housing options lead to segregated communities along economic and racial lines, students also have disparate educational experiences across town lines. These inequities do not serve students, the state economy, or the isolated communities themselves.

We support HB 5429 because it would increase multi-family housing within a half-mile radius of passenger or commuter rails and bus rapid transit stations. This would advance the interests of those who do not have access to their own vehicles, or who would benefit from living in walkable communities. Most importantly, however, by building Transit-Oriented Communities, we can also increase housing availability and inclusivity, which would impact gaps in educational resources and opportunities.

I urge the legislature to support this bill, which seeks to tackle anti-density policies that perpetuate segregated communities and schools. Housing opportunities and educational opportunities are tied together in our states. I applaud your efforts to make both more equitable.


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