Hebron’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved and submitted to the State Hebron’s Plan for Housing Choices in June. CoDE was grateful to have played an important role in the development of the plan and believe that, if implemented, will increase the diversity and affordability of Hebron’s housing.
Ensuring that people who want to live in a town, especially those who work there, is an issue affecting Hebron, as well as many small, rural towns in Connecticut. In Hebron, for example, less than three percent of housing is deemed affordable, and 26% of homeowners and 27 percent of renters are ‘cost-burdened,’ meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
CoDE member Lilli Rhodes was a member of the Affordable Housing Workgroup and during several meetings presented the committee with many recommendations from CoDE, most of which were included in the plan, including adding a specific goal for the number of affordable units of housing to be created in Hebron over the next five years. (CoDE did, however, advocate for that goal to be higher than the 75 units that the Planning and Zoning Commission ultimately approved.)
Leading up to the approval of the Plan, CoDE hosted a Community Conversation, Creating Housing Choices in Rural Towns, highlighting projects in Northwestern Connecticut and in Middlesex County.
Featured speakers were: Kate Briggs Johnson, President of The Foundation for Norfolk Living; Jim Crawford, Advisory Council member of the HOPE Partnership, which serves Middlesex County; and Matthew Straub and Kasey LaFlam from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which helps towns and cities create affordable housing.
Funding for this, and other webinars on housing education, was provided by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
The recording of that conversation can be found on our Tube channel here.
Then, on March 31st, CoDE hosted a virtual forum to enable residents to learn about the draft housing plan, as presented by town planner Pat Gallagher, and to share their questions and feedback. That forum can be viewed here.
CoDE also compiled information about affordable housing as well as examples of mixed income and affordable housing; a copy is available by emailing us at CoDE.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft plan is available on the town website.