Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski with his running mate Laura Devlin, Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, and Sen. Ryan Fazio,.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski said he’s not against affordable housing, but he wants to get rid of legislation that many housing advocates believe encourages developers to build affordable housing in towns. 

“I’m the product of affordable housing,” Stefanowski said. 

The New Haven native said his parents moved from New Haven to North Haven for a better education. 

“Unfortunately we had to move out of New Haven to get a good one,” Stefanowski said. 

Stefanowski said he’s not against affordable housing, he’s just against a piece of legislation that doesn’t work. 

“It’s about not allowing developers come into a town and have universal say about putting buildings up like we can see behind us,” Stefanowski said. “We need to get back to local control.” 

He said Connecticut currently has a stick approach that threatens to take funding away from towns that don’t comply. 

Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said the 8-30g statute has become a flashpoint, but should be looked at objectively. 

“How much affordable housing has come into Connecticut since the 8-30g statute?” Kupchick asked. “The numbers don’t lie.” 

Under the current law, developers can bypass local zoning rules if their development is at least 30% affordable housing. 

“They can build whatever they want, however they want,” Kupchick said. “As long as they just add a few pieces, a few units of affordable housing they can build a ton of market rate housing.” 

Kupchick said she supports affordable housing and wants the town to build more of it, but she also wants a say in how and where it’s built. 

“It becomes you’re anti-affordable housing or you’re pro-development,” Kupchick said. 

She said developers can build whatever they want under this statute. She pointed to a large apartment complex behind her where the market rate housing can go for as much as $7,000 for a three-bedroom unit.  

“The town of Fairfield had 200 units before the statute was written,” Kupchick said. “The town of Fairfield was proactive over 30 years ago … and those units don’t count.” 

Stefanowski said he doesn’t know whether to repeal and replace it, all he knows is that 8-30g is not working and an estimated 100 towns are not in compliance. He said he wants to work with towns who are investing in affordable housing and find a stick for those that aren’t but he lacked clarity about how he would actually make that happen.

“Yet again, Stefanowski showed up without a serious proposal,” Lamont campaign spokeswoman Onotse Omoyeni said. “The man who admitted he has no idea how to address the housing crisis hardly stacks up to Governor Lamont, who’s invested nearly $500 million to help build new affordable housing units.”

Omoyeni said Connecticut deserves a wide variety of housing to meet the needs of its residents.

“Governor Lamont knows the best decisions are made at the local level and has worked with officials to increase housing across the state,” Omoyeni added.