The Partnership employs a staff of policy analysts to oversee work by research consultants, compile data, write reports on Connecticut's housing situation and work with competitively chosen interns. Our outreach materials are based on solid data aggregated from state and federal government sources, think-tanks and policy organizations, and business groups.
We issue reports and publications, including the HousingInCT annual barometer of Connecticut housing market conditions, the Housing Data Profiles analysis of housing in Connecticut municipalities, and a range of fact sheets and email communications that are sent to members of Congress and the General Assembly, their staffs, mayors and first selectmen, planners and a range of other government, non-profit and private-sector partners.
The Partnership also publishes a number of shorter fact sheets and one-pagers, which discuss contemporary topics in housing and homelessness across Connecticut. Our fact sheet archive can be viewed here.
Affordable Housing Near Transit in Connecticut:
An Analysis and Recommendations
The Partnership for Strong Communities has released a new report from PSC senior policy advisor Sean Ghio, “Affordable Housing Near Transit in Connecticut: An Analysis and Recommendations.” The report analyzes the affordable housing supply and demographics of Connecticut’s forty-two transit towns – forty municipalities with a fixed rail and bus rapid transit stations, and two municipalities with planned rail stations.
The disparities in race, income, and housing opportunities near our transit stations mirror the great disparities seen across Connecticut. Expanding the supply of accessible and affordable homes near all Connecticut transit stations is a sustainable, inclusive, and impactful growth strategy for our state. Connecticut’s transit station areas can be the vital backbone of our state’s future, but we must ensure that residents of all incomes and races are explicitly included in that vitality.
What policies can ensure that transit-oriented development includes mixed-income and affordable housing? This report focuses on four related policy recommendations that state government can take to increase the supply of affordable housing in our transit districts.
Click here to read the full report.
New Toolkit Available: Fair Rent Commissions
Click Here to view the Toolkit
In 2022, the Connecticut legislature passed Public Act 22-30, which requires each town with a population greater than 25,000 to adopt a fair rent commission ordinance in accordance with the Fair Rent Commission Act (C.G.S. 7-148b through 7-148f). While covered towns must adopt an ordinance by July 1, 2023, towns are free to act sooner, since existing law already encourages such commissions.
This toolkit was developed as a resource for those towns looking for guidance and best practices for adopting a fair rent commission ordinance. We anticipate this toolkit will be reviewed and updated periodically to provide the most up-to-date guidance regarding fair rent commissions in Connecticut.
This toolkit was developed by members of the HOMEConnecticut Campaign. The authors of this toolkit are available for consultation and technical assistance in the drafting, adoption, and implementation of your town's fair rent commission ordinance.
Rental Assistance Program Policy Brief
In a new policy brief, Partnership For Strong Communities’ Senior Policy Analyst, Kayleigh Pratt, covers the state's dire need for rental relief as rental costs skyrocket across the board in the midst of an inflationary economy.
Connecticut housing costs have long been unaffordable to a large portion of the population, with costs continuing to rise for both renter and owner households. In the last year, the average cost of purchasing a home has increased 14%, while the cost of renting has increased over 15%. These cost increases place the greatest pressure on low-income households that are already forced to spend too much of their income on housing. In 2021, over 200,000 Connecticut households are cost-burdened, meaning they spent more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Nearly 115,000 Connecticut households are severely cost-burdened, meaning they spent more than 50% of their income on housing costs.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Connecticut households are disproportionately housing cost burdened and at risk of experiencing housing instability and homelessness. Nearly one-third of Black renter households spend more than 50% their income on housing.
There is strong evidence that housing vouchers are one of the most effective ways to aid cost-burdened low-income households. In Connecticut, eligible households may apply for a housing voucher through either the state funded Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or the federally funded Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV/Section 8). Both programs support households to find adequate housing in the private market by subsidizing a portion of their rent to make their out-of-pocket rent payment affordable.
CT's Affordable Housing Supply Slowed in 2021
In a newly released analysis, Partnership for Strong Communities’ policy director, Sean Ghio reports that there was only a very minor net increase in the total supply of affordable housing in Connecticut during 2021.
The report analyzes the 2021 Affordable Housing Appeals List – an annually published list of government-assisted and deed-restricted housing for each Connecticut municipality. The list is used to determine exemption from the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure, commonly known as Section 8-30g.
Connecticut has 174,337 affordable housing units representing 11.71% of all housing in the state. This is a net gain of 129 units from 2020. A continuing drop in the number of CHFA single family mortgages masks gains of 2 – 3% in the remaining three affordable housing categories. Affordable homes receiving government subsidy, tenant rental assistance, and homes with deed restrictions maintaining affordability all increased in supply last year. The fourth category monitored – Connecticut Housing Finance Authority single family mortgages – declined by 2,869 homes in 2021.
Thirty-one municipalities had affordable housing supply equal to or greater than 10% of their total housing supply and therefore are exempt from the provisions of Section 8-30g. The 31 exempt municipalities had a total of 133,929 affordable housing units representing 76.8% of the total supply of affordable homes in the state in 2021.
Also, check out our '10 Actions to Grow your Town's Affordable Housing Supply' list here.
“Roadblock To The Middle Class”
An Essay on the impact of Housing Insecurity in America
by Jamil Ragland
Is a borrowed home your own? PSC researcher Jamil Ragland gives us an inner look into his life experiences navigating housing in CT and offers his perspective on what he considers "luck" to escape the pitfalls that trap many Americans trying to find a home.
A home is more than where a person resides. It’s where friendships are formed, memories are made, and families grow. Fights, laughter, dinners, late-night gaming sessions, everything happens in the place we call home. It’s where life is lived, in the broadest sense of the word. And as a result, it has a profound impact on the kind of life that an individual experiences.
I’ve lived in more houses and apartments than I can count. Just like jobs and relationships though, some have had a larger impact on me than others. The history of the housing I’ve lived in, and the access I’ve had to different housing, is the history of my existence. Who I am is a product of where I come from, and why I come from there.
The development and redevelopment of mixed-income communities is as an important way to strengthen neighborhoods and improve opportunities for low-income families. Mixed-income communities are comprised of residents renting or owning their homes at varying rates based on their income levels. However, financing of housing stock to accommodate diverse income bases has been a consistent challenge. This can be particularly impactful in the city of Hartford as it has a large stock of multifamily housing that comes with its own unique set of financing challenges.
In 2019, Trinity College graduate students Maria Dyane, Thalia Giraldo, Ryan Rea and Tamika Thurston examined the financial tools that exist to create mixed income housing on Vernon, Allen and Lincoln (V.A.L.) streets in the Barry Square neighborhood of Hartford, CT and how these tools impact investment on multi-family homes. In this memo, they define the benefits of and characterize successful mixed-income housing communities. The authors provide a comprehensive description of tools that currently exist to support the development and/or financing of the area’s dominant stock, 2-4 family houses. As a comparative case study, they explore the mixed-income housing community of the Village of Techwood in Atlanta, GA to highlight best practices for the city’s efforts in creating communities that attract and retain members of diverse economic backgrounds. Finally, they provide recommendations to support/enhance the development of mixed-income housing in the V.A.L neighborhood.
Click here for the full presentation
Trends and Changes in Assisted Housing in Connecticut
The Partnership for Strong Communities has released a new report from PSC policy director Sean Ghio, “Trends and Changes in Assisted Housing in Connecticut: A View from the Affordable Housing Appeals List, 2002 – 2020.” The Connecticut Department of Housing collects and maintains an annually published Affordable Housing Appeals List that provides a count of government-assisted and deed-restricted housing for each Connecticut municipality used to determine exemption from Section 8-30g. This report examines the last 19 years of data from the Affordable Housing Appeals List.
While the supply of assisted housing has grown in communities of all types across the state, assisted housing continues to be overwhelmingly concentrated in our cities. By 2020, the supply of assisted housing grew most in municipalities that already had the most assisted housing in 2002, most conspicuously Hartford.
Connecticut’s Ignored Homes
The Partnership for Strong Communities has released a new report, “Connecticut’s Ignored Homes: The Case for Producing and Preserving Small Multifamily Housing.” The report argues that modestly-sized apartment buildings are the foundation of Connecticut’s affordable rental housing, and that continued building and preservation of these apartments is needed to lower the cost of rent and improve housing choice in the state.
While Connecticut has engaged in a long-overdue conversation about the need for zoning reform in the state, this report, authored by the Partnership’s Policy Director Sean Ghio, shows that diverse housing options have social and economic benefits for Connecticut communities.
Building A More Equitable Homebuying System
Fifty-three years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the wealth gap between Black and white Americans is as wide as it has ever been. A new report argues that flexible and equitable homeownership programs are key to closing this gap, while providing recommendations on how lawmakers in Connecticut and beyond can create better homeownership assistance programs.
Building A More Equitable Homebuying System, a report written by researcher Thalia Giraldo, provides an overview of how exclusionary practices have contributed to a massive gap in homeownership between Black and white families. At a time when Connecticut is engaged in a long-term discussion about the connection between housing and equity, this report provides a roadmap for building a more just state through homeownership programs.
Housing Data Profiles
The Partnership for Strong Communities's Housing Data Profiles are a free resource to help Connecticut residents, developers, legislators, municipal officials, and others make data-informed decisions. Profiles are available for every town in the state, as well as each county, and the state as a whole.
Housing Data Profiles offer data on an array of housing metrics across Connecticut, providing users with information on housing stock, income, race, age distribution of residents, housing characteristics (age of housing stock, number of single-family or multifamily homes, number of bedrooms in homes), housing costs and affordability, housing production and affordable units.
For the first time, Housing Data Profiles are interactive and web-based. By transitioning to a web-based platform, we can offer users more up-to-date data and exciting new features. Our new web-based platform offers users the ability to explore housing data, compare municipalities, as well as generate PDF town profiles.
Housing and Homelessness in CT 2021
The Partnership for Strong Communities has released its yearly update on the state of homelessness and housing affordability in Connecticut. Housing in CT 2021 and Homelessness in CT 2021 provide a quick primer on Connecticut's need for stable, affordable housing. The coronavirus pandemic has increased the need for rent relief in Connecticut, while also widening the inequities that already existed in the state's housing market. Connecticut’s residents are burdened by the lack of modestly-priced rental options -- a problem which affects all communities, regardless of income levels, but is particularly devastating to Connecticut’s families of color. Data shows that Connecticut's homelessness response system continues to produce positive results, with fewer state residents entering shelter. There is still a massive need for resources, however, as indicated by the thousands of Connecticut residents still experiencing homelessness.
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Partnership News is our monthly rundown of news, reports, funding opportunities, and events from across the world of housing and homelessness advocacy.