Several states are introducing new mandates requiring municipalities to expand affordable housing in response to the severe housing shortage in the US. States that have had these mandates on the books for decades—only to have them ignored by local planning boards—now are dusting them off and preparing to enforce them.

Some states are taking a carrot-and-stick approach, like a top-down revision of state zoning laws in Connecticut, enacted last year, that gives communities more flexibility to increase housing density while requiring all towns in the state to submit new affordable housing plans to the state by the middle of this year.

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