Affordable Housing, Community Development

Can Connecticut Turn the Tide?

 

Connecticut is getting older. The state is currently the seventh oldest state in the country. It was the 10th oldest state in 2000, but between 2006 and 2009 the state’s 65 and older population increased, while the number of people younger than 65 decreased. That’s not exactly a good trend.

Without a thriving younger population, who is going to pay the bills? Connecticut needs to become a place where young professionals want to live, work, and play.

Cue YES. On July 31st, the Young Energetic Solutions (YES) Statewide Steering Committee convened for the first time. The long-term goal for YES is to ensure that young professionals have an active role in thoughtfully, creatively shaping their communities. We want young professionals to have a voice. We want to change the perception that young professionals don’t care and aren’t capable. We want young professionals to get involved in local boards and commissions, and let those who are currently in charge know what they want.

Members of the steering committee are involved, dedicated young professionals who are connected to their communities. The time is ripe for a collaboration like YES.

Already, there has been a resurgence of young professionals sprinkled throughout southwestern Connecticut, in places that many never thought possible. These young professionals are making their towns their own, and that’s not gone unnoticed. Housing developers have noticed the growing demand for a walkable, vibrant lifestyle that so many young professionals are looking for.

Connecticut is a place where individuals who care can truly make a difference. We can replicate statewide the resurgence occurring in southwestern Connecticut. The opportunities are here, and YES intends on capitalizing on them. 

Diana Deng is the Communications & Policy Assistant at the Partnership for Strong Communities.

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