Coalition Asks Connecticut Legislature to Act on Land Use Reforms

Initiatives will increase housing supply, generate housing diversity, and improve the process for approving new residential development

HARTFORD, Conn. – A coalition of organizations supporting statewide land use reform convened at the south steps of the Connecticut State Capitol Tuesday, July 14th at noon to call upon the State Legislature to pass comprehensive land use reform during the special session.  They wish to thank Majority Leader Matt Ritter, the Honorable Doug McCrory, the Honorable Saud Anwar, and the Honorable Jason Rojas for their insights and comments for the press conference, now available at CT-N and on the DesegregateCT website.

“As people throughout our State respond to the ongoing public health crisis and demand systemic change to address the scourge of racism, now is the time to desegregate Connecticut,” said Sara Bronin, Desegregate CT organizer.  “These initiatives will increase housing supply, generate housing diversity, and improve the process for approving new residential development – knocking down walls of exclusion and expanding access to opportunity.”

“CCM recognizes that local land use laws can contribute to the racial and socioeconomic segregation we see in Connecticut, and if we are serious about combatting systemic racism and promoting greater diversity throughout our communities, we should include land use laws in that conversation,” said Joseph DeLong, CEO of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  While our members do not all agree on every proposal that’s been put forward, we support the legislature in considering a serious reform agenda aimed at creating more diverse housing opportunities and more diverse communities.  Increasing housing supply, increasing the diversity of housing options, and improving the local approval process could make a meaningful difference in building a stronger and more inclusive Connecticut.”

“The CT Chapter of the American Planning Association proudly supports the Desegregate CT legislative platform and urges the General Assembly to act,” said American Planning Association Connecticut Chapter President Rebecca Augur. “As a nation and state, we have a unique opportunity right now to try to right longstanding injustices. CCAPA has previously advocated for more limited legislative changes aimed at inducing more affordable and diverse housing development. However, now is the time to significantly reform zoning to address institutional, structural and procedural practices that have stymied socio-economic integration across our communities. We look forward to working with our communities and legislators on this important effort.”

“The Hartford Foundation has committed to working toward increasing the number of current Hartford residents living in higher opportunity neighborhoods both by investing in Hartford neighborhoods and by enhancing the ability of residents to choose to move to other areas throughout the Greater Hartford region,” said Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams. “While there is much to do on both fronts, we are in full support of DesegregateCT’s efforts to create meaningful changes to our antiquated and discriminatory housing policies. Enacting these proposals will be a challenge, but the status quo is unacceptable and demands significant policy changes to end systemic housing segregation in Connecticut.”

“Residential segregation in Connecticut didn't happen by mistake. It is the result of intentionally exclusionary public policies codified in local land use regulations. Now is the time to openly recognize this history and redress it by making long overdue changes to land use and zoning in our state, making all communities inclusive communities. Regional Plan Association is proud to support DesegregateCT and work towards a more equitable region for all,” said Melissa Kaplan-Macey, Vice President of State Programs and Connecticut Director at Regional Plan Association.

“Our current zoning laws exacerbate inequality and educational disparities among minorities and low-income populations,” said Omarys Vasquez, representing the Connecticut Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). “By remaking our communities to foster more inclusivity, we are taking a step towards eliminating the barriers that prevent low-income families the benefits of living in better neighborhoods, in cities and towns alike, that have access to good quality schools and more opportunities. NOMA Connecticut is proud to join with AIA Connecticut in support of the efforts, vision, and goals of DesegregateCT.”

“At Connecticut Main Street Center, one of our core values is inclusiveness,” said Patrick McMahon, CEO of CT Main Street Center. We believe downtowns are for everyone, that they thrive when diverse voices are represented. We’ve seen how restrictive zoning policies can limit people’s choices, and conversely how lives and communities are improved through more inclusive zoning like "missing middle" housing, repurposing existing structures, and increased transit options. We’re proud to join with other economic development and preservation organizations in supporting the policy goals of DesegregateCT.”


  • Advance CT
  • American Institute of Architects – CT
  • American Planning Association – CT
  • Center for Latino Progress
  • Coalition for Westport
  • Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
  • CT Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities
  • CT Main Street Center
  • CT Preservation Action
  • CT Voices for Children
  • CT Women's Education and Legal Fund
  • Education Reform Now
  • Fairfield County Center for Housing Opportunity
  • Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Mansfield Planning & Zoning Commission
  • National Organization of Minority Architects – CT (charter pending)
  • Old Saybrook March for Justice
  • Preservation ConnecticutPartnership for Strong Communities
  • Regional Plan Association
  • Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance
  • Supportive Housing Works
  • Transport Hartford Academy
  • Universal Health Care Foundation of CT
  • Urban Hope Refuge Church
  • Urban League of Southern Connecticut

ABOUT DESEGREGATECT:  DesegregateCT is a collaborative of people and institutions dedicated to changing statewide land use laws to ensure a more just and equitable Connecticut.

Special Session Agenda:

TWITTER: @desegregateCT