Connecticut housing costs remain steep for many, but number of affordable units rising

By Mary O’Leary December 13, 2016

A Partnership for Strong Communities report on housing in 2016 was a mixed bag. Great strides were made in tackling homelessness and adding to the number of affordable units in the state, but the high cost of housing continues to burden almost half of all renters and 30 percent of homeowners. That means almost 500,000 households pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. The number of those “severely burdened” — that is, persons who spend more than half of their income for shelter — is 26.4 percent of renters and 12.5 percent of homeowners, figures almost unchanged since 2014. But the continuing good news is the investment in housing by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration over the past six years. The state Department of Housing reported last month that it had produced 1,028 new units in 2016, 929 of them affordable, for a total of 8,572 affordable homes since 2011. As of 2015, the latest full-year totals available, there were 172,556 affordable housing units in the state. On the homeless front, Connecticut is the second state to end veterans’ homelessness and remains on track to end chronic homelessness, according to the Connecticut Homelessness Management Information System. Katy Shafer, the interim policy director of the Partnership, said Connecticut’s coordinated approach to ending homelessness is a national model that leverages all the resources in the state to provide a clear entry and exit point to go from homelessness to housing.

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