Regulatory Hurdles in Connecticut

The creation of more housing, affordable and cost competitive with other regions in the nation, is a top priority for the HBRA of CT.
The lack of affordable and workforce housing is driving young people out of the state to areas where the price of homes is within reach of younger families. The lack of affordable and workforce housing hurts businesses in the state who have difficulty hiring workers due to the high price of housing and the lack of "starter" homes.

While not the only factor, CT's regulatory hurdles are a significant driver of our high housing costs. A heavy cost on builders, ultimately borne by home buyers and renters, is imposed by both excessive substantive requirements on new developments as well as the lengthy and cumbersome review and approval process of getting to an answer on permit applications.

These regulatory burdens crush opportunities to produce many more jobs, higher tax revenues and economic growth that accompany new housing development.

See Homes DO Pay for Themselves for studies and reports that prove new housing is a net positive for our communities, including a net positive for local and state tax revenues.

Development and Construction in Connecticut - Many Steps, Many Stops (2008; updated 2011, 2012, 2017) - earlier versions provided to the legislature's Blue Ribbon Commission on Affordable Housing and to the Department of Economic & Community Development in 2008, and to the legislature's Planning & Development Committee in early 2009, and in subsequent years.... but is anyone listening?

Land Use, Tax & Business Policies: 30+ Changes Connecticut Must Make.

State agency regulations are online - result of Public Act 13-274

Municipal ordinances and regulations are also online - via the CT Judicial Branch.  See also Partnership for Strong Communities' Municipal Resources webpage.

HBRACT got adopted PA 13-279, creating more regulatory accountability by requiring state agency staff to disclose the source of their statutory and regulatory authority for permitting, enforcement and other business and land use requirements or restrictions. The new law, effective October 1, 2013, is intended to prevent "rogue” agency staff from regulating businesses and landowners without specific statutory authority. The law should be expanded to require the same level of accountability to local governments and regional entities that regulate businesses and private land owners. 

Below, find articles and commentary specifically addressing the regulatory environment for building homes.


(9-6-17) How Local Housing Regulations Smother the U.S. Economy - NY Times Op-Ed

(2-13-17) CT's small business climate ranks 8th worst in country - Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; see CBIA article on ranking.

(12-12-16) The impact of a $1,000 home price increase on housing affordability - ConstructionDive; also, the impact of a .25% increase in mortgage rate on affordability.

(6-28-16) Study faults state's business climate - over regulation cited.

(8-4-14)  Each $1,000 Increase in Price of a New Home Forces 206,000 Prospective Buyers Out of the Market Across the Nation - New NAHB study demonstrates the impact that fees, taxes and regulatory costs have on potential home buyers; The variables of median home prices, incomes and housing supply determine local/state impacts - study breaks down the impact by states.

(7-10-13) CNBC's ranking of 51 measures of business competitiveness has CT at 45 out of 50 in its "America's Top States for Business 2013" - see 50 state breakdown.

(5-6-13) CT is also 45th Best State for Business in 2013 according to CEOs - that's not a good ranking, dropping one slot from 44th best last year. A survey of 700 CEOs shows CT has a reputation for a good labor force and high quality of living but they cannot overcome adverse tax and regulatory nightmares for business. As one CEO stated, "a good state is one that understands the private sector pays for the public sector and makes it easy for the private sector to conduct business and grow ....” We ask, when will state politicians begin to get it and adopt significant regulatory relief, lower real state spending, open up and reform pension and other legacy costs, and reform our taxes so that consumers and businesses decide how to spend more of their money? Tax and regulatory relief needs to be eye-popping, sending a message not only just throughout the state but also throughout the nation that CT is now different and we truly are open for business.

(9-14-11) CT Third Worst in Small Business Growth: Regulation May be Part of the Problem - duh... we've been saying that for many years.

(July 2011) Survey Finds Government Regulations Are 25% of New Home Costs

(July 2011) Putting Housing Back to Work - an op-ed from NAHB

(6-29-11) NY Times Poll: Despite fears, owning home retains allure

(12-28-10) Behind the Population Shift (Economix, Edward Glaeser) ("Housing regulations, more than those that bind standard businesses, explain the Sun Belt's population growth. If [northeast states] want to stop losing Congressional seats, then they must revisit the rules that make it so difficult to build."

(December 2010) HBRACT memo to the Housing Policy Work Group appointed by Governor-elect Malloy.

(11-18-10) Mortgage Interest Deduction Under Attack

(11-1-10) Extent of Underbuilding in the Single-Family Housing Market (NAHB) - shows Connecticut has a 12,700 cumulative permit deficit.

(September 2010) Moratorium on New Regulations is NOT ENOUGH - commentary by Bill Ethier

(1-26-10) HBRACT outlines major state agency regulatory hurdles for the legislature's Regulations Review Committee

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse - from HUD (highlighting the regulatory barriers to affordable housing).

NAHB's Eye on Housing - NAHB's blog posts discuss economics and housing policy.

For more on regulatory hurdles facing our industry in CT, browse the menu items above.


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