Letter from State Rep. Terrie Wood, Replying to Spencer McIlmurray

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Oct. 5, 2015

To the Editor,

I read with interest the letter in the Darienite recently from Spencer McIlMurray, a candidate for the Board of Selectmen. He has joined a number of us, in recognizing that the affordable housing statute 8-30g is discriminatory toward seniors.

By naming those in Hartford who have proposed legislation to address this, and stating that I should join them and “engage vigorously,” Mr. McIlmurray demonstrates a lack of understanding of my deep involvement in this issue – something that I feel compelled to correct.

In the last two legislative sessions 2014 and 2015 I have co-introduced bills, along with State Representative Jonathon Steinberg (D – Westport), that would amend the 8-30g affordable housing point system: awarding a full point instead of a half point, for senior affordable housing units.

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We were able to get a public hearing on this bill both years. A number of people testified in support of this concept, which would encourage more senior affordable housing.

Despite support from both sides of the aisle, this proposal has not gotten out of committee. The explanation? It is too easy to do. All communities recognize the need for senior affordable housing and will build it without being incentivized.

First Selectmen Jayme Stevenson and I have worked closely on amending this statute over the last four years. I have co-introduced, along with Rep. Steinberg, other bills to reasonably amend 8-30g. Including bills aimed at building affordable housing for the developmental and intellectually disabled community. Jayme has led this effort in our Council of Governments (formerly SWRPA). I have supported her there and she has supported my efforts on the legislative side.

What Mr. McIlmurray did not state, which is critical information for voters, is the only way 8-30g will be modified is by changing the political balance in the state Legislature – electing more Republicans and moderate Democrats who are committed to common-sense amendments to this statute.


Terrie Wood

State Representative 141st district

Darien and Norwalk

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