Sustainability and Social Justice

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Kathyrn Madden

Second Reader

Michael Rendulic


ABSTRACT A PLACE TO CALL HOME: THE FIGHT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN HIGHINCOME AREAS BY ERIN LAVITT This paper provides a focus on the national affordable housing crisis, using the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts as a case study. The project looks at the difficulties of overcoming resident resistance, entrenched zoning difficulties, and how the politicization and depoliticization of the crisis has influenced the effectiveness of affordable housing programs. The structure of the paper is as follows. First, a background is provided on the history of affordable housing. This history begins with M.G.L. Chapter 40B, the 1969 Massachusetts act concerning affordable housing creation. A good deal of focus is given to the 1975 and 1983 Mt. Laurel cases, which were rulings by the New Jersey Supreme Court mandating the creation of affordable housing, and appointing the courts to monitor zoning. Following this, time is spent on C.G.L. Sec 8-30-g, Connecticut’s affordable housing law, and the similarities and differences between the two states. The newspapers, town websites, and other resources used to gather the relevant facts are outlined in the methodology section. Following this, there are the case studies, where time is devoted to examining two towns who have fallen short of their ten-percent affordable housing goal, and examining their governance structures. My findings section looks at the current state of affordable housing and the challenges to come. My conclusions section contains my recommendation for less local control of zoning, and outlines other potential solutions.

Kathyrn Madden, AICP, M.C.P., S.M.Arch.S Chief Instructor Michael Rendulic, B.A., University of Pittsburgh, Housing Programs Director Second Reader/Internship Supervisor



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.