Engaging Local Planning to Increase Housing Options for Our Next Generation

By Richard Porth January 17, 2017

In Connecticut, like other northeastern states, we worry about the out-migration of our young, talented workers, including our sons and daughters, to other states. You might think that these young people leave to pursue job opportunities elsewhere. A number of studies indicate that this may be true for some, but more often it has to do with the high cost of housing in many of our cities and towns. In fact, as documented by the Partnership for Strong Communities, Connecticut ranks sixth among states in median monthly housing costs. The lack of housing choices that are affordable at a variety of income levels forces some young people to look elsewhere to establish their household and make a new life.

This is especially true for young working families that struggle to pay for the high cost of child care and housing. United Ways in fifteen states are shining a light on this growing problem through the ALICE initiative (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). The 2016 Connecticut ALICE Report documents that households with income below the ALICE threshold, which is based on a Household Survival Budget that provides a conservative estimate for what it costs for basic necessities, make up at least 20 percent of the households in 145 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, and 38 percent of all Connecticut households.

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