• GOLDSTEIN: How I Will Work On Local Housing Issues In Congress

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    As we go around the Fourth congressional district, one topic keeps coming up: Housing and Affordable Housing. The main topic is the affordable requirements to meet the 8-30g regulations coming from Hartford.

    Many towns in the 4th District have incredible impediments to meet the requirements of 8-30g; it could potentially increase the size of the population by almost 50%, and that includes towns like Greenwich. Other towns like New Canaan have a land issue.

    On the flip side, there are towns in the district like Bridgeport and Norwalk where there’s a little more land and the area is more affordable. There is also land that can be converted from commercial to residential that can also be utilized.  As a Congressman, this is something that I can work on at the federal level by potentially identifying areas to create new opportunity zones where we could really create a proper public-private partnership or in this case a federal state partnership to create a alternative to 8-30g that is actually affordable and creates a meaningful affordable housing solution.

    This sector redevelopment will improve the housing and commercial landscape in areas of the Connecticut economy that are in flux.  One challenge to the current Hartford mandate is that we keep hearing about workforce housing for people working where they live. This is an aspiration of Hartford and does not take into consideration the reality of working for most of us.

    For most Connecticut residents in the district, many of them are commuters and picked the 4th district for the proximity to commute to New York City. These are commuters that do not live where they work so to propose a specific burden or mandate that the majority of the tax paying based does not subscribe in their own daily life is unjust. It seems incongruent with how we Americans choose where we work and where we live for the most part.

    With respect to 8-30g, the focus has always been on affordable rental units. This is another issue that Hartford has not looked at correctly and needs to be addressed and tackled. The goal in this country is to create wealth and generational wealth and not simply affordable rental units.

    The goal really is to looking at and support opportunities that create wealth for our future generation of new entrants to the housing market; this includes our youth that cannot afford to buy houses given the drastic increase of housing prices over the last 30 years in most of Connecticut. Getting them into homes that they own would be something that would create a wealth transfer for these individuals to pass onto their children or create an opportunity to trade up for the next house. So, 8-30g, while it is a state issue, it’s something that is very important to me as it creates federal consequences and opportunities.

    I serve on the Greenwich RTM, the Town's legislative body, and the major issue that 8-30g has is the taxing of existing infrastructure that is antiquated or insufficient to meet the demands of mandated housing. This is resulting in the need for a municipality to increase capacity, especially water and sewage. In the case of Greenwich, we are upgrading and making plans to upgrade and expand pumping and sewage facilities for additional housing that may come online solely because of 8-30g. In order to meet a mandate that may result in windfall profits for a developer, the town should not subsidize certain upgrades that are needed solely because of this mandate from Hartford.

    These infrastructure costs should be included to the developer’s analysis so they can evaluate the profitability of such over development in these towns that are not prepared for or have the capacity to take additional sewage.

    In places like Monroe, the other challenge is a lack of sewer systems and the possibility of 8-30g compliant developments with self-contained sewage treatment plants. This proposes a whole other set of environmental concerns. So, in addition to mandates on specific towns, we have towns that do not even have the resources or infrastructure to accept the types of developments that Hartford is pushing.

    As a result of these mandates, it is really up to us to continue to press on and push forward against 8-30g, support organizations like CT 169 Strong and understand that there are incredible economic impacts that we are not even thinking of.  In economics, they call these "negative externalities" that we will be paying for over the next 20 to 50 years. This is in addition to all of the increased impact and straining of our infrastructure such as I-95 and the Merritt which already are at a problem.

    Unfortunately, Jim Himes has made no real advancements to our highways or our mass transit system over his career representing the fourth district. He is starting to talk about it. There have been some upgrades such as the Merritt 7 extension, but those are minor Band-Aids to help bring more to these affordable units.  In towns like New Canaan, they could benefit from an upgrade to the 7 spur line with an additional rail or someway to have trains bypass to allow two way train movement on a single-line track.

    Connecticut is facing probably one of its greatest infrastructure crises and anyone who travels on our roads knows they are ragged. They are some of the worst in the nation, which is unacceptable and needs to be revisited in a more methodical and thoughtful way.

    These housing and infrastructure issues are one of the many reasons why I’m running for Congress as we really need some out-of-the-box and creative solutions to address the issues that we currently face with traffic and infrastructure, and to prepare for how we expand thoughtfully for the next generation.

    If we can create the type of wealth that was created in Long Island from the Levitt Brothers and the development of property, such as Levittown, that would be a homerun. These low-income developments created real value for all these Long Island First time homeowners coming back from war and actually being rewarded for their service to this country through programs that created wealth.

    Wealth creation is something we need drastically. We need to look at alternatives to affordable rental situations for most Americans. Rentals also prevent Americans from achieving one of the American dreams, which has always been to own your own home. The current incentives to encourage first time ownership has been something that many politicians have worked on, but in the 4th district, it is probably not enough to move the needle.

    I look forward to working with state representatives and state senators and leverage the tools and resources of the federal government so that we can make sensible housing decisions for the future of Connecticut. This would also make our state more attractive as we continue to lose our tax base to other states that are more competitive and more welcoming to new ideas and businesses. It is my hope that we can create better housing solutions to attract better jobs and restore the manufacturing of this country in Connecticut that put the man on the moon and many other amazing industries.

    Please visit CT169 Strong and please support our campaign to get the message out and the vote out for the Republican Primary this August.

    In the meantime, CT169 Strong is working hard on campaigns for you to contact your local officials to say no to DesegregateCT HB5390 and SB416 As-of-Right Conversion of commercial real estate to residential without approval - See Below

    Reach out to your elected public officials to say NO to DesegregateCT HB5390 and SB416 As-Of-Right conversion of commercial real estate to residential.

    Senate Republicans (800) 842-1421

    Senate Democrats (860) 240-8600

    House Republicans (800) 842-1423

    House Democrats (860) 240-8500

    Governor Lamont (800) 406-1527 or (860) 566-4840

    Twitter: @GovNedLamont

    Email Email Gov Ned Lamont here

    (Source of links and phone numbers courtesy of CT169 Strong)

    Also see their Flyer

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    Author

    Dr. Michael Goldstein

    Dr. Michael Goldstein is running for U.S. Congress. You can learn more about his campaign here: https://goldsteinforcongress.com/

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    F D

    Mr. Goldstein,
    What you are describing is state level. Not sure what U S Congress has to do with it.
    One example: droves of people descending into CT from neighboring states who are running up housing prices. BIDDING UP FROM ASKING PRICE.
    State level:
    1) State bureaucrats micromanaging and imploding each sector.
    2) Endless mandates from the state legislature to towns which take governing decisions away from the hands of local officials who know best.

    Smaller government, less intrusion.

    F D

    *Correction: Dr.Goldstein

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