(EAST HAVEN/HARTFORD) — On Tuesday, the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed house bill (HB) 6558, proposed by East Haven State Rep. Joe Zullo (R, 99), which simultaneously encourages first-time homebuyers to independently acquire housing while also helping municipalities meet their obligations under the state’s affordable housing framework.
In House Bill 6558: An Act Concerning Property Tax Abatement for First Time Home Buyers, municipalities are permitted, by vote of their legislative body, to offer a five-hundred-dollar ($500.00) annual property tax abatement to first-time homebuyers who purchase their homes through the Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority’s (CHFA) first-time homebuyer program. Proposed by State Representative Joe Zullo (R-99), the “Ranking Member” of the Planning and Development Committee, the bill will also allow municipalities to support qualifying homebuyers with a yearly tax abatement for up to five years.
Zullo explained, “There is a national desire for property acquisition and upward mobility, particularly by millennials and young families, who are constrained by inflation, student loans, and rising interest rates. This bill permits municipalities to help meaningfully offset potential homebuyers’ monthly housing costs and mitigate barriers to acquisition. I commend my colleagues on the Planning and Development Committee for their leadership and collaborative efforts as we achieved unanimous support for this initiative today.”
Under the State’s 8-30g affordable housing framework, homes acquired with CHFA loans count towards municipalities’ total affordable housing stock for the purposes of promulgating the State’s annual “affordable housing appeals list.” Zullo has signaled that the eventual passage of HB 6558 will not only break down acquisition barriers for first-time homebuyers, but also encourage the use of and acquisition of towns’ existing naturally occurring housing stocks.
Zullo explained, “All too often, when people think about affordable housing, they envision sprawling, dense developments or high rises. That doesn’t have to be the case. We can and we should leverage the existing programs we have our State to empower homebuyers to acquire quality, naturally occurring affordable housing. Our first-time homebuyer loan program, through the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, does just that.”
Following its unanimous passage in the House, HB 6558 will now head to the Senate, where Zullo hopes it will meet with enthusiastic approval.
Zullo concluded, “Simply put, this bill makes it easier for first-time homebuyers to acquire a property, offers town governments a new and novel affordable housing solution, and uplifts lower- and middle-class residents who are seeking labor and educational opportunities in Connecticut. I am hopeful our colleagues in the Senate will enthusiastically support this commonsense proposal and send it to the Governor for this signature.”