Leah S. Glaser, president of Connecticut Preservation Action, and Hamden resident speaks to the short-sightedness of sweeping Community Investment Act (CIA) money into the general fund. The CIA was established by the legislature in 2005, and since that time has funded projects in all of Connecticut’s towns to support affordable housing, open land preservation, farmland preservation and historic preservation. The Act is funded outside of the budgeting process through a $40 fee on every real estate transaction recorded in the state.
With companies like GE and Aetna taking their leadership out of Connecticut, both saying they need to be where their talent wants to live, now not the time to take this important funding away from our cities and towns.
Glaser concludes: “We cannot sustain our places by ignoring or destroying what defines them. We have tried that strategy. In the last several decades, Connecticut wasted millions on urban renewal and placemaking policies that have ignored investment in the shelters, spaces, established communities, generations of traditions, attachments, memories and steady habits that already exist. Today’s most accepted urban planning themes focus on density, diversity, open space, affordable housing, local food production and transit-oriented development, which are all characteristics of Connecticut’s downtown historic areas. Our cities and towns have only investment act funding to protect, preserve, reuse, recycle and revitalize what is left of their best resources.”