Affordable Housing Near Transit in Connecticut Analysis and Recommendations

We may not all agree on solutions, but with rents skyrocketing and one in eight households spending more than half their income on housing costs, we should all agree that Connecticut faces serious housing problems, and they are damaging our state. For too many households across our state, the excessive cost of housing has become a major barrier to building wealth, buying and keeping a home, or
even making ends meet. Since 1960, median rental costs have increased by over 65 percent nationwide, while real household income has increased by just 20 percent.1 As a result, a growing number of our state’s residents find themselves priced out of living in much of Connecticut.

Connecticut’s existing local regulatory environment of low housing growth has a negative impact on efforts to grow our economy. Accelerating the pace of affordable housing development can increase household formation, enhance economic growth, and strengthen municipal and state fiscal fortunes. Communities suffer when housing choices are limited. A community becomes stronger when it offers opportunity across the full spectrum of people it relies upon, and a community’s opportunity to grow and to withstand challenges is directly connected to its range of affordable housing. To live in town, and become valuable contributors to the community, people must be able to find an affordable and stable place to call home. A wide array of housing choices creates a community where diverse groups of people can afford to live, thrive, and contribute.

It’s no secret that Connecticut’s economy is closely tied to transportation, and its connection to job centers inside the state and in New York City. Successful transitoriented development has energized communities in New Haven, New Britain, Meriden and elsewhere. The ongoing apartment boom in Stamford and New Haven should signal to lawmakers that many Connecticut residents want to live in vibrant, walkable communities with access to transportation options. Walkable town and
village centers exist in every community — urban, suburban, and rural. Leveraging our existing resources could help grow our cities and towns, boosting our state’s economy.

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