Substitute House Bill No. 6639

Public Act No. 99-94

An Act Concerning the Reports and Reporting Requirements of the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 8-37s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall monitor the progress of the public and private sector toward meeting housing needs and shall collect and annually publish data on housing production in the state. [Based upon the progress toward meeting housing needs and upon such other indicators or factors as he shall determine, the commissioner shall prepare an annual report to the Governor, General Assembly and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management on the state of the housing market in this state. Such report shall be submitted on or before March first of each year.] Such data shall be submitted to the Governor, General Assembly and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management on or before March first of each year. In order to ensure a steady flow of information for the purposes of this section, all municipalities shall submit to the commissioner a copy of the monthly federal Bureau of the Census report on building permits issued and public construction filed at the same time as such report is filed with the federal Bureau of the Census.

Sec. 2. Section 8-37t of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) [The] Not later than January 1, 2000, and every five years thereafter, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development together with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, shall prepare [and from time to time amend a five-year advisory plan] a long-range state housing plan, which [plan] shall conform and be subject to the plan of conservation and development for the state adopted by the General Assembly. The plan shall: [contain] (1) Contain an assessment of the housing needs of households with incomes less than one hundred per cent of the average area median income, adjusted for family size, analyzed separately for households with incomes (A) less than twenty-five per cent of the area median income, (B) more than twenty-five per cent but not more than fifty per cent of the area median income, (C) more than fifty per cent but not more than eighty per cent of the area median income, and (D) more than eighty per cent but not more than one hundred per cent of the area median income; [, (2) a set of specific proposals for meeting such needs and (3)] (2) analyze the households served by the housing construction, substantial rehabilitation, purchase and rental assistance programs, including the number of households served by each program, the total amount of financial assistance provided to such households and the race of households served under such programs; (3) provide information on affirmative fair housing marketing activities and programs and an analysis of occupancy results of affirmative fair housing marketing plans [. The assessment prepared under subdivision (1) shall include an analysis of available census data. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall annually submit a supplementary report detailing the extent to which housing needs identified in the plan were met during the preceding year] and shall include data on the racial composition of the occupants and persons on the waiting list of each housing project which is assisted under any housing program established by the general statutes or special act or which is supervised by the commissioner or the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; (4) set specific measurable goals for meeting identified housing needs; (5) outline strategies for meeting those goals; and (6) identify state, federal and private sector resources for affordable housing programs. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to require an occupant or applicant to disclose the race of such occupant or applicant on an application or survey form. The long-range plan shall be updated annually by an action plan that assesses the state's progress toward meeting housing needs contained in the long-range plan and recommends revised strategies, if deemed necessary. In preparing the long-range plan and subsequent action plans, the commissioner shall consult with representatives of those who use or benefit from state housing programs.

[(b) Said housing plan shall be submitted to the Governor and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management on or before January 1, 1993, and subsequent plans shall be submitted every five years thereafter]

(b) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall submit the long-range housing plan to the General Assembly not later than January 1, 2000, and each action plan not later than January first of each subsequent year, after receiving public review and comment on the long-range plan and each action plan through written remarks and public hearings. The commencement date of each plan shall be the July first following the submission of the plan.

Sec. 3. Subsection (e) of section 8-37x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) [(1)] As used in this subsection, "troubled loan" means a loan in which payments of interest or principal, or both interest and principal, [(A)] (1) are delinquent under the terms of a loan agreement, or [(B)] (2) may become delinquent under conditions which exist which would reasonably lead the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to believe that a borrower would be unable to repay the loan. Said commissioner may authorize the deferred payments of interest or principal, or both interest and principal, or a portion thereof, in the case of a troubled loan made by the commissioner under any provision of the general statutes or special acts if he determines the deferral to be in the best interests of the state. Such determination shall be in writing and shall include a statement of the reasons why the deferral is in the best interests of the state. Any deferral made under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the approval of the State Bond Commission.

[(2) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall, on or before January 1, 1994, and annually thereafter, submit a report to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to housing and finance, revenue and bonding concerning any deferrals granted under the provisions of this subsection. The report shall list each troubled loan, the amount of the loan, the decision of the commissioner on deferral and the amount of principal and interest deferred.]

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 8-37bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) On or before December 31, 1991, and annually thereafter, each housing agency shall submit to the General Assembly a report, for the year ending the preceding September thirtieth, which analyzes by income group, households served by its housing construction, substantial rehabilitation, purchase and rental assistance programs. Each report submitted after December 31, 1991, shall analyze the households served under each program by race. The analysis shall provide information by housing development, if applicable, and by program. Each analysis shall include data for all households (1) entering an agency program during the year ending the preceding September thirtieth and (2) in occupancy or receiving the benefits of an agency rental program the preceding September thirtieth. The report of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority shall also identify, by census tract, the number of households served in each program and the total amount of financial assistance provided to such households. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to preclude a housing agency from reporting additional information on programs it administers. Each report submitted under this section shall also analyze the efforts, and the results of such efforts, of each agency in promoting fair housing choice and racial and economic integration. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to require an occupant or applicant to disclose his race on an application or survey form. The Department of Economic and Community Development shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of this section upon submission by said department of the long-range state housing plan and annual update in accordance with section 8-37t, as amended by this act, provided such plan and annual update contain the information required to be reported by this section.

Sec. 5. Section 8-336f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall establish and administer a Connecticut housing partnership program for the purpose of encouraging the formation of local housing partnerships which will work with the community, the Department of Economic and Community Development and other state agencies to solve housing problems faced by the community and develop ways to increase the supply and availability of affordable housing in the community.

(b) Any municipality may, by ordinance, or by resolution of the board of selectmen in any town in which the legislative body is a town meeting, authorize the formation of a local housing partnership. Any local housing partnership shall include, but shall not be limited to, the chief elected official of the municipality and the following members to be appointed by the chief elected official: (1) Representatives of the planning commission, zoning commission, inland wetlands commission, housing authority and any local community development agency, (2) representatives of the local business community, such as local bankers, realtors and developers, (3) representatives of public interest groups, such as housing advocates, members of the clergy, members of local civic groups and representatives of local nonprofit corporations and (4) local urban planning, land use and housing professionals.

(c) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may provide a local housing partnership with an initial designation under the Connecticut housing partnership program upon receipt of evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the local housing partnership has been formed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and that sufficient local resources have been committed to the local housing partnership. Upon such initial designation, the commissioner shall provide technical assistance to the local housing partnership which assistance shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) The assignment of a primary contact person in the Department of Economic and Community Development to work directly with the local housing partnership, (2) obtaining assistance from other state agencies, regional planning agencies, regional housing councils and the Housing Advisory Committee, provided for under section 8-385, on behalf of the local housing partnership when necessary, (3) assisting the local housing partnership in developing a comprehensive local housing strategy, (4) assisting the local housing partnership in identifying available local resources, (5) discussing possible ways to create affordable housing through the use of conventional and alternative financing and through public and private land use controls, (6) explaining the requirements of and the types of assistance available under state housing programs and (7) providing information and advice concerning available federal and private financial assistance for all aspects of housing development.

(d) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may provide a local housing partnership which has received an initial designation under subsection (c) of this section with a development designation under the Connecticut housing partnership program upon receipt of evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the local housing partnership has: (1) Examined and identified housing needs and opportunities in the community, (2) explored the availability of any state, municipal or other land that is suitable for the development of affordable housing, (3) reviewed applicable zoning regulations to determine whether such regulations restrict the development of affordable housing in the community and to identify any necessary changes to such regulations, (4) established priorities and developed a long-range plan to meet identified housing needs in the community consistent with regional housing needs, (5) established procedures for the development of a written proposal to achieve such priorities in accordance with said plan and (6) started an activity, development or project designed to create additional affordable housing in the community. Upon such development designation: (A) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall give priority to any activity, project or development initiated or sponsored by the local housing partnership in providing any financial assistance pursuant to any program administered by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development under the general statutes; (B) the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall consider formation of a local housing partnership in a municipality as a primary factor in awarding any grant-in-aid for open space land under sections 7-131d to 7-131k, inclusive; (C) the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall consider formation of a local housing partnership in a municipality as a primary factor in making any grants and loans for water quality projects under sections 22a-475 to 22a-483, inclusive. If the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development determines that a municipality has developed and is maintaining a balanced inventory of affordable housing, the municipality shall receive the same priority as a local housing partnership which has received a development designation under this subsection or the municipality in which such local housing partnership is formed.

(e) Upon the completion of the first activity, development or project initiated or sponsored by a local housing partnership under this section, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of such completion, shall provide a town-aid grant to the municipality in which the local housing partnership is formed in an amount equal to twenty-five per cent of the amount of the distribution to the municipality calculated under the provisions of part IIa of chapter 240 for the fiscal year in which the activity, development or project is completed. Such town-aid grant shall be paid to the municipality from the General Fund (1) in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the activity, development or project is completed and (2) in each of the three fiscal years following the fiscal year in which such initial town-aid grant is paid, provided the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development determines in each of such years that the local housing partnership and the municipality in which the local housing partnership is formed are actively engaged in the development of affordable housing within the municipality. Such town-aid grant shall not be included in the estimates compiled by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management pursuant to sections 4-71a and 4-71b.

(f) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of subsections (a) to (d), inclusive, of this section.

[(g) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly, on or before February first, annually, an analysis and evaluation of the program authorized under this section.]

Sec. 6. Section 8-119f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall design, implement, operate and monitor a program of congregate housing. [The commissioner shall analyze the effectiveness, cost and feasibility of said program of congregate housing and report his findings to the General Assembly on or before January fifteenth in each even-numbered year.] For the purpose of this program, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall consult with the Commissioner of Social Services for the provision of services for the physically disabled in order to comply with the requirements of section 29-271.

Sec. 7. Section 22a-1b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The General Assembly directs that, to the fullest extent possible:

(a) Each state department, institution or agency shall review its policies and practices to insure that they are consistent with the state's environmental policy as set forth in sections 22a-1 and 22a-1a.

(b) Each state department, institution or agency responsible for the primary recommendation or initiation of actions which may significantly affect the environment shall in the case of each such proposed action make a detailed written evaluation of its environmental impact before deciding whether to undertake or approve such action. All such environmental impact evaluations shall be detailed statements setting forth the following: (1) A description of the proposed action; (2) the environmental consequences of the proposed action, including direct and indirect effects which might result during and subsequent to the proposed action; (3) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided and irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources should the proposal be implemented; (4) alternatives to the proposed action, including the alternative of not proceeding with the proposed action; (5) mitigation measures proposed to minimize environmental impacts; (6) an analysis of the short term and long term economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the proposed action; (7) the effect of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy resources; and (8) a description of the effects of the proposed action on sacred sites or archaeological sites of state or national importance. In the case of an action which affects existing housing, the evaluation shall also contain a detailed statement analyzing (A) housing consequences of the proposed action, including direct and indirect effects which might result during and subsequent to the proposed action by income group as defined in section 8-37aa and by race and (B) the consistency of the housing consequences with the [state housing advisory] long range state housing plan adopted under section 8-37t, as amended by this act. As used in this section, "sacred sites" and "archaeological sites" shall have the same meaning as in section 10-381.

Sec. 8. Subdivision (4) of section 25-231 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(4) "Major state plan" means any of the following: The master transportation plan adopted pursuant to section 13b-15, the plan for development of outdoor recreation adopted pursuant to section 22a-21, the solid waste management plan adopted pursuant to section 22a-211, the state-wide plan for the management of water resources adopted pursuant to section 22a-352, the state-wide environmental plan adopted pursuant to section 22a-8, the historic preservation plan adopted under the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 USC 470 et seq., the state-wide facility and capital plan adopted pursuant to section 4b-23, the [housing advisory] long range state housing plan adopted pursuant to section 8-37t, as amended by this act, the comprehensive energy plan adopted pursuant to section 16a-35m, the water quality management plan adopted under the federal Clean Water Act, 33 USC 1251 et seq., the Connecticut hazardous waste management plan adopted pursuant to section 22a-134cc, any plans for managing forest resources adopted pursuant to section 23-20 and the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Compact adopted pursuant to section 26-302.

Sec. 9. Subsection (a) of section 8-159a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) During each fiscal year the Comptroller shall pay to each municipality for its unrestricted use, from any funds appropriated for such purpose, a grant-in-aid to assist it in meeting its urban problems. Payment of such grants shall be made in March of each year. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall in February of each year calculate the amount due each municipality in accordance with the allocation formulas provided in subsection (c) and shall certify to the Comptroller the amount due. In January of each year the Commissioner of Public Health shall certify to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management the population of each municipality. [and the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall certify to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management the number of public housing rooms in each municipality.]

Approved June 3, 1999

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