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West Hartford Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Affordable Housing Advisory Group

The Goodwin, located at 189 Newington Road, opened in 2015, and 15 of the 47 units are workforce housing. The project faced stiff opposition before being approved. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The Affordable Housing Advisory Group will help the Town of West Hartford develop an affordable housing policy and plan.

By Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford is in the process of recruiting volunteers to the Affordable Housing Advisory Group the Town Council created through a resolution at its Feb. 23, 2021 meeting.

The resolution states that the purpose of the Advisory Group will be to assist the town in “developing an affordable housing plan and an affordable housing policy, and such assistance may include but shall not be limited to conducting a town-wide housing needs assessment; reviewing zoning ordinances to identify potential areas for targeted modification and innovative opportunities that increase the availability of a range of housing types and affordability levels; and establishing the community need for affordable housing options and making recommendations to meet those needs.”

The Advisory Group will also help town staff determine how to meet the goals and objectives that are outlined in its recently-adopted 2020-2030 Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).

The state is requiring municipalities to develop an affordable housing plan by April 2022.

Town Manager Matt Hart recommended to the Council at the Feb. 23 meeting that the Advisory Group have seven to nine members, with a diverse background and expertise in the following areas:

  • Multi-family housing
  • Affordable housing
  • Supportive housing
  • Sustainable building principles
  • Land use law
  • Transit oriented development

The Town Council recommended that the Advisory Group produce recommendation by September 2021. It will be dissolved once it is no longer needed.

“We’ve been talking about this for a very long time,” Mayor Shari Cantor said in February when the Council approved the measure to establish the group. She noted that while the town has worked with individual developers, “there is so much more to do,” and the Advisory Group will play an important role in looking at affordable housing and housing choice in general.

Residents who are interested in serving on the Affordable Housing Advisory Group should send a resume and letter to Town Clerk Essie Labrot at [email protected] by April 23, 2021.

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