We are here today with solutions

By: Chelsea Ross, Executive Director Partnership for Strong Communities

I want you to envision a Connecticut where everyone has a safe, stable home. Now, imagine the very real experiences that over 70% of our extremely low-income neighbors have—experiencing homelessness, unable to find housing, or stuck paying well above an affordable rental rate—and teetering on the brink of eviction.  

It is unacceptable.  

We cannot continue to perpetuate suffering and instability and deny our fellow residents the basic dignity of a place to call home. We need our leaders to enact policies and make investments that support an equitable housing system—one that counters existing racist and classist policies that perpetuate disproportionate homelessness and housing instability among people of color with low incomes. 

We need our leaders to creatively weave together solutions that concurrently increase housing affordability, increase housing creation and preservation, further enable housing choice, and ensure housing stability for our residents. 

Erin talked about the importance of housing vouchers that help bridge the gap between the cost of rent and what families can afford. In addition to ensuring that vouchers are actually keeping pace with rents, we need to increase investment in housing benefits for our most vulnerable residents.  

Our state-funded rental assistance program, or RAP, is a lifeline for more than 6,700 households- with thousands more families who are eligible but shut out due to lack of funding. The program is expected to run a deficit due to increasing rents, which will ultimately mean fewer families helped without additional funds. RAP vouchers provide immediate access to stable housing for individuals and families who are otherwise stuck in shelters.  

For many, RAP vouchers are paired with wraparound services, known as supportive housing, to address challenges to housing stability. RAP vouchers serve highly vulnerable people at high risk for homelessness like our veterans, families with child welfare involvement, people involved with the justice system, people exiting nursing homes, people with disabilities, etc. 

As for housing creation, Jonny outlined how the Housing Growth fund would reward communities that do their part to allow the construction of housing the state desperately needs, and Erin talked about how we can make smart investments in sewer infrastructure to expand our communities’ ability to support the affordable housing they need.  

In terms of ensuring stability for our communities, Vanessa spoke to the critical need to expand just cause protections to keep people in their homes, and Sarah talked about the investments we need to support the individuals and families that we have continued to fail and have no place to call home.  

We are here today with solutions. We are here to remind our leaders that people all around the state are hurting because they don’t have a home or don’t have a home they can afford. Is it that we have forgotten these people? Or is that we do not want to remember them? Our humanity requires us to remember, and when we do, we have to act.  

We are here for housing. 

The above blog post is taken from remarks given by Chelsea Ross at a Growing Together press conference on April 18, 2024 and makes reference to: 

Erin Boggs – Executive Director, Open Communities Alliance 

Vanessa Liles – Co-Project Director, PT Partners 

Johnny Shively – Housing Policy Manager, Elm City Communities / Housing Authority of New Haven 

Sarah Fox – Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness 

Learn more: https://pschousing.org/ct-housing-advocates-say-theyre-tired-of-waiting-for-change/ 

Share the Post:

Related Posts