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HOMEConnecticut is a statewide campaign aimed at increasing the stock of affordable housing in Connecticut. Housing affordability is a crucial element in the state’s efforts to remain economically competitive and preserve the quality of life that has drawn population and businesses to the state. The ability of the state to attract the workers, young professionals and investment necessary to provide jobs and revenues is clearly dependent on its ability to provide the range of housing opportunities and choices needed by the full spectrum of its citizens.
The HOMEConnecticut Campaign is staffed by the Partnership for Strong Communities.
It was clear to housing advocates, economists, municipal officials, business leaders, environmentalists and others that Connecticut had many housing-related problems. It had lost more of its 25-34-year-old population than any other state; too many municipalities had no housing for teachers, police and volunteer firefighters; elderly residents had no downsizing opportunities; low- and moderate-income residents were burdened by their housing costs, and the lack of proactive planning for housing was allowing sprawl.
Simply put, Connecticut didn't have enough housing supply and what it had built wasn't affordable or accessible to the people the state needs. So in July 2006, a range of educators, economists, business executives, planners, mayors and first selectmen and many others gathered to suggest ways to proceed. From that group, the Partnership for Strong Communities invited 43 initial members to join the HOMEConnecticut Steering Committee.
HOMEConnecticut has succeeded because its Steering Committee is comprised of representatives of many sectors who can agree on one issue: the state needs more affordable housing options to create economic growth and opportunity. Together, business and labor, builders and environmentalists, municipalities and housing advocates researched, developed and successfully garnered legislative approval of a program that provides municipalities with an uncommonly effective housing creation tool. The Connecticut Housing Program for Economic Growth, known as the HOMEConnecticut program, was created in 2007. The HOMEConnecticut program is voluntary and, for towns that choose to use it, provides municipal officials and town residents with complete control over the amount, location, type and design of the housing. Learn more about the HOMEConnecticut program here.
In addition to the program, the campaign has succeeded in educating municipal officials, one conversation at a time, about local housing markets, facts and misperceptions about affordable housing and the tools available to create affordable housing, including the HOMEConnecticut program. The Campaign also provides a forum for continued discussions about how to create more affordable housing in Connecticut and related topics like land use, transit-oriented development, foreclosure policy, preservation of affordable housing and economic development.
Now, more than ever, Connecticut needs a range of housing opportunities that will retain our current residents, attract new ones to the state, and keep us economically competitive. Towns and cities throughout the state are interested in creating affordable and mixed-income housing, as evidenced by the 50 towns participating in the HOMEConnecticut program. The HOMEConnecticut Campaign will continue to build on this momentum, reaching out to policymakers and community members to share information about the benefits of affordable housing and the tools to help create it.