Advancing Equity: Insights and Recommendations from the Connecticut Housing Segregation Study 

By: Dr. Samaila Adelaiye, Research & Policy Fellow, Partnership for Strong Communities

In January of this year, the Connecticut Housing Segregation Study was released. Commissioned by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) as mandated by Public Act No. 23-204 of 2023, this study, prepared by Urbanomics, investigates the levels of segregation in Connecticut and the extent to which government-assisted affordable housing has contributed to or alleviated it over time. 

While the report’s primary objective is not to dissect the root causes of segregation, it does acknowledge the historical legacy of racial segregation, particularly its disproportionate impact on communities of color. Factors such as exclusionary zoning, redlining, appraisal biases, and local opposition are identified as significant contributors to segregation across the state, findings consistent with research nationwide. 

By examining segregation at the state, regional and municipal levels, the report provides valuable insights into the current landscape. Despite some positive developments, significant barriers to integration persist, as evidenced by data spanning from 1990 to 2020, which captures a period of notable demographic shifts.  

Moreover, the report puts forth recommendations aimed at addressing these entrenched issues, urging stakeholders to take proactive steps towards fostering more inclusive and equitable communities. These findings are worth highlighting as Connecticut’s residents continue working towards creating thriving communities. There are five main points from the report based on its major findings and recommendations: 

> Connecticut’s metropolitan areas rank among the most racially and ethnically segregated in the nation and have high levels of income inequality. However, statewide, segregation along racial and ethnic lines has decreased.   

> Although a correlation exists between subsidized housing and segregation, there is no evidence to suggest a causal relationship between them. 

> Policy changes are necessary to promote further desegregation, as several current housing policies have not been as effective in adequately addressing the problem. 

> Policy recommendations for Connecticut to tackle the issue at hand include enhancing access to subsidized housing, improving statewide housing quality, and promoting mobility. The study also calls for policy changes aimed at addressing segregation, incentivizing mixed-income developments, and collecting data on residents’ race and ethnicity in subsidized housing. 

> Going forward, the report provides data and analysis that would be useful for further research and policy development around housing and residential segregation, highlighting qualified findings on the state of segregation and the work that needs to be done. 

Click here to read our full brief that breaks down each of these findings and recommendations. 

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