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Updated January 2017


Frequently Asked Questions regarding the location of proposed DDS
“group homes” and municipal notification in Connecticut:

Who will the residents be? The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) supports nearly 17,000 individuals with intellectual disability in Connecticut.  A majority of these individuals reside in their own or family homes, community companion homes, continuous residential supports and in 874 Community Living Arrangements (CLAs) operated by DDS or by qualified community providers.  These individuals live and work, go to school, and enjoy the many opportunities that our communities provide. Federal HIPAA laws and state laws do not permit us to discuss the individuals who we provide services and supports to; however, each person has an individualized service plan that identifies their special needs.  As a result of their planned services and supports, staff decisions are made to assure the person is successful and receives the appropriate level of supervision and support.

Do CLAs remain on the town/city tax role?  DDS does not pay taxes on state owned property.  (Towns receive Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from the state.)  For homes owned by private providers, if they are a nonprofit organization, they MAY be exempt per Connecticut General Statute (CGS) 12-81 (58) at the discretion of the municipality.  CGS 12-81 describes property that shall be exempt from taxation. CGS 12-81 (58) provides that “Subject to authorization of the exemption by ordinance in any municipality, any real or personal property leased to a charitable, religious or nonprofit organization, exempt from taxation for federal income tax purposes, provided such property is used exclusively for the purposes of such charitable, religious or nonprofit organization;” As, as of December 31, 2016 there were 874 DDS CLAs (50 publicly run and 824 run by private providers including 68 Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs).

How will a group home affect property values on the street?  There is a large volume of evidence and research that homes for people with disabilities DO NOT significantly impact property values and DO NOT make properties close to the homes harder to sell.

Who will be maintaining and looking after the property?  DDS is responsible for maintaining the property at all DDS owned and operated group homes.  If the group home is privately run, the provider is responsible for property maintenance.

Why aren’t communities informed when a group home is first moving into the area?  It would be contrary to established legal rights of individuals with intellectual disability or other disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities share the same rights as everyone else in choosing where to live.  The Federal Fair Housing Act, originally created to protect the rights of minority groups to live where they choose, was extended in 1988 to specifically include people with disabilities.  Everyone benefits from this right and all of us have an obligation to abide by this federal law protecting our right to live where we choose, without discrimination.

What laws apply to the siting of a DDS Group Home in Connecticut?
  • The Federal Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C.3601 et seq.)
    • Prohibits local zoning rules to discriminate in housing opportunities for persons with a disability.
    • Makes it unlawful to deny a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap.
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act
    • The ADA prohibits discrimination in employment, access to state and local government services, public transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and telecommunications on the basis of a person’s disability.
    • No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.
  • Connecticut General Statute 8-3e
    • No zoning regulation shall treat "any community residence which houses six or fewer persons with intellectual disability and necessary staff persons and which is licensed under the provisions of section 17a-227" in a manner different from any single residence.
  • Connecticut Constitution, Article XXI of Amendments
    • Provides for equal protection and non-discrimination for persons with physical or mental disabilities.
Is there any recourse for municipal residents if a group home is not run properly?
CGS Section 8-3e(b) provides that any resident of a municipality in which such community residence is located, may with the approval of the legislative body of such municipality, petition the Commissioner of Developmental Services to revoke the license of such community residence on the grounds that such community residence is not in compliance with the provisions of any statute or regulation concerning the operation of such residences. 

What requirements do group homes have to comply with?
Private providers must comply with detailed contractual obligations as well as DDS licensing regulations.  These regulations are available online at the following link:
http://www.ct.gov/dds/cwp/view.asp?a=2839&q=331634