Affordable Housing, Community Development

Interagency Council Considers Housing’s Impact on Achievement Gap


Following on its priorities for education reform and safe, affordable housing, Gov. Malloy’s Interagency Council on Ending the Achievement Gap heard Wednesday on how housing policy changes can help close Connecticut’s widest-in-the-nation achievement gap. David Fink, policy director for the Partnership for Strong Communities, noted that low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners are overburdened by their housing costs, have little income left for food, clothing, healthcare and other necessities, and too often pay more than 50% of the incomes on what is often substandard housing. As a result: parents are working to earn enough for rent when they could be home supervising homework and recreation; children often suffer asthma and other maladies born of dust mites and other housing deficiencies; children have little space or privacy to do their work at home; they live in communities that have few services to support their families; and housing problems cause families to move during the school year, causing disruption and learning problems.

Fink recommended that the Interagency Council, which is co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, focus on a dual housing track – improving urban communities and schools, but also supporting ways to create housing affordable to low- and moderate-income residents in a range of other communities – so that all families have a choice of school districts and neighborhoods that support the particular needs of their children. 


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