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The ability to afford a residence - to not have to spend more than 30 percent of one’s income on housing, so that there is enough left for other necessities - is undeniably important. But an affordable house or apartment must also be linked to good schools, adequate community services, convenient transportation, access to affordable high-quality food and other necessities. The Partnership for Strong Communities has worked hard to focus the attention of policymakers on the creation of not just affordable homes but also vibrant neighborhoods and communities.
The Partnership is working to strengthen all municipalities in the state. It recognizes that strong communities require affordable homes, affordable and convenient transportation, schools with resources, neighborhoods with libraries, youth athletics and activities, and many other services that meet the needs of individuals and families. As a result, we have brought together experts in transportation, environmental quality, educational achievement, health care and other disciplines to discuss and shape solutions that build communities and opportunity upon a foundation of affordable housing.
Using its ability to convene experts and scholars, the Partnership has sponsored forums on Urban Housing and Community Development, Housing, Education and Healthcare, and Food Insecurity. It also plays a leading role in research and policymaking through federal Sustainable Communities Initiative grants which focus on transit-oriented development - the marriage of energy-efficient affordable housing in walkable, sustainable locations near public transit - and the continuing HOMEConnecticut program, which works to create affordable housing options in town centers, near transit and other smart-growth locations.
In all cases, the goal is the same: develop affordable housing and strong communities, in concert.
By providing affordable homes for workers, families, empty-nesters, young professionals and others, communities can increase their tax bases, lower their expenses and keep families strong.