We know the numbers. The need is clear.
Connecticut, like the nation, has been in the midst of a housing crisis –a crisis that predates the COVID-19 pandemic but has been exacerbated by it.
Over 130,000 of Connecticut’s lowest-income families (those earning at or below 30% of the area median income) are facing extraordinary housing cost burdens (paying 50% or more of their income toward housing) according to Open Communities Alliance Fair Share Housing Model for Connecticut, 2020. Increase the threshold to families earning up to 50% of the AMI and that number soars to over 200,000 Connecticut households. The Federal government’s own estimate of need indicates that U.S. affordable housing programs are under-resourced to such a degree that only one out of every four income-eligible families is receiving assistance. As if that weren’t enough, currently, over 150,000 Connecticut neighbors are at risk of eviction in the midst of the worst healthcare crisis of our lifetime (CT Mirror, 12/21/2020).
Connecticut has failed to develop adequate plans to address this shortfall. Instead, the state continues to set arbitrary affordable housing goals at 10% of the housing stock in every community while analyses by OCA and others prove that this goal falls woefully short of the actual need for affordable housing options for Connecticut’s families. Consider the Greater New Haven region. Were the towns in South Central region that are currently below the 10% threshold to reach it, an additional 7,000 units would be produced. Compare this to Fair Share analyses for the region that demonstrate that another 25,000 units are needed simply to support the lowest income severely housing burdened families.
H.B. 6430 — the bold action needed to address the housing crisis, Karen Dubois-Walton, CT Mirror, Feb. 17th, 2021, available here