2015 - A Year of Transformation Part 2

 

In October of this year, the HOMEConnecticut Steering Committee approved a new strategic plan, HOMEConnecticut 2.0, with the goal of providing meaningful opportunities and choices – in the form of access to higher-resource schools, employment, services, healthcare, training and transit – by developing more affordable and mixed-income housing options in many more cities and towns. The Campaign’s renewed spirit builds upon a decade-long commitment by stakeholders dedicated to expanding affordable and mixed-income housing choices to more municipalities across the state.

The endeavor to create affordable housing options that support all residents, including working families, downsizing seniors and emerging young professionals, in each of our state’s 169 towns continued at a healthy clip in 2015. The HOMEConnecticut Campaign provided guidance and counsel to dozens of municipalities and fostered greater understanding on the importance of affordable housing:

  • In Guilford, we supported a comprehensive community dialogue that resulted in a broad-based survey and compelling public service announcement.
  • We continued to work closely with the Affordable Housing Committee of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, in recognition that the business sector is vitally invested in developing a stable workforce.
  • We advanced the public’s understanding of affordable housing on the radio, television and in print, and produced several IForums highlighting the cross-sectorial nature of housing.
  • Through our work with the Regional Plan Association to help develop its 4th Regional Plan, we are advancing the need for housing that’s not only affordable but also strategically located in communities with opportunities.

The leadership provided by the Department of Housing continues to make bold progress, streamlining its processes and incentivizing the market to create energy efficient and financially feasible affordable housing developments that provide a variety of housing options for the many demographics in need. In conjunction with the Office of Policy and Management, the Departments of Economic and Community Development, Energy and Environmental Protection, and Transit, this administration fundamentally understands and is deeply committed to strategic affordable housing creation.

HOMEConnecticut 2.0 challenges stakeholders to elevate our efforts in 2016. Having advanced a groundswell movement and built a foundation of understanding among residents, Selectmen, and Zoning Commissions, HOMEConnecticut 2.0 seeks not only to realize the approval of multi-family, affordable zoning, but also meaningful unit creation.

To create more units, we’re working with the state to further coordinate support to high-resource municipalities prepared to create affordable and mixed-income housing, as part of the state’s comprehensive community development and transit-oriented development strategies. This is vital, as we’ve realized that many, many towns are interested in creating affordable housing options, but lack the experience and capacity to do so when challenged by a fundamentally changed housing market. 

Our nation is at a fragile crossroads. The manifestations of tensions surrounding poverty and inequity in 2015 were sobering. We share those frustrations. We hold fast to our conviction that housing is the foundation of opportunity and that a family enjoying housing stability will yield dividends in public health outcomes, educational achievement and employment success. And we believe deeply that individual household successes will result in a more vibrant Connecticut. We look forward to moving our goals ahead in 2016.

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