Housing & Homelessness Items in Connecticut's Budget & Bond Package
13 May 2022
Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
On the week of May 6, 2022-- the Connecticut legislature passed H.B. 5506, An Act Adjusting the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30th, 2023, detailing appropriations, bonding and revenue. The budget bill proposes $24.2 billion in spending in FY23, representing a growth rate of 6.4% over FY22. Expenditures are under the spending cap by $200,000 in FY 22 and $8.6 million in FY 23. The budget includes $1.8 billion in new allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for a number of grant programs and new initiatives. It also provides over $600 million in tax cuts and other relief.
This budget provides over $200 million in new funding for affordable housing development, critical support to the Department of Housing, Coordinated Access Networks (CANs), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for supportive housing services, and frontline cost of living adjustments (COLA) for private nonprofit providers.
"We are pleased to see Connecticut's budget continue to maintain and expand investments for affordable housing and homeless services. We are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Lamont for their commitment to support frontline providers who risked their health and safety in the pandemic to help some of Connecticut's most vulnerable residents." said Kiley Gosselin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities.
"In Connecticut, more than 200,000 households spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are disproportionately experiencing housing insecurity across our state. In addition to the bond funding authorized in last year's biennium budget, this budget sets forth funding to create an estimated 350 new units of affordable rental housing and 100 housing subsidies. While this year's budget is a step in the right direction, there are still hundreds of thousands of households experiencing housing insecurity in our state, and significant additional investments are needed to ensure that every Connecticut resident has a safe, affordable, stable place to call home."
The budget bill expands the definition of essential workers to allow employees in the workforce category of shelter and housing to access the COVID-19 Assistance Program. It also provides substantial new investments in mental health and behavioral health, childcare, and other social service programs.
The budget prohibits the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) from making reductions in allotments to implement budgeted lapses if the budget is projected to be in surplus. It also requires the governor's budget document to explain how its provisions further efforts to ensure equity in Connecticut.
Budget, Bonding and ARPA Allocations Include:
Items corresponding to the Reaching Home and HOMEConnecticut legislative agendas are marked with an *
Department of Housing (DOH)
- Funding for the Housing/Homeless Services line at $85.4 million in FY23, representing a $100,000 increase from the budgets proposed by the Appropriations Committee and including up to $5 million for homeless shelters. *
- Homeless Youth line is maintained at $2.9 million in FY 23. Funding is transferred from the Housing/Homeless Services line to fund the Youth Homeless Demonstration grant match at $700,000 in FY 23. *
- Transfers up to $4.5 million from the Housing/Homeless Services lapse to UConn Health for temporary operating support.
- ARPA funding at $50 million for affordable housing development in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $1 million for Homeless Youth transitional housing in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $5 million for Homeless Services in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $1 million for Rental Assistance program in FY23. *
- ARPA funding at $500,000 for Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA).
- Utilizes Community Investment Account (CIA) funding allocated to DOH for the Coordinated Access Networks (CANs) at $1.5 million. *
- Utilizes CIA funding allocated to DOH for the Rent Bank Program at $1.5 million.
- Requires shelters who are grant recipients from DOH to provide menstrual products free of charge to shelter residents.
- Homeless Prevention and Response Fund (HPRF) language amended to allow for grants to capitalize operating and replacement reserves in supportive housing units.
- OPM Urban Act funding for DOH at $20 million for a new homeownership initiative in qualified census tracts in collaboration with local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
- Authorizes up to $20 million in bond funding for DOH to develop housing for healthcare workers.
- FY23 bond authorizations for the state Housing Trust Fund is funded at $50 million in FY 23, consistent with the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and Governor's proposed budgets. *
- FY23 bond authorizations for the Affordable Housing Flex Fund is funded at $100 million which includes $30 million each year for the State Sponsored Housing Portfolio, consistent with the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and Governor's proposed budgets. *
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)
- Housing Supports/Services funded at $25.7 million in FY23 and includes an additional $2.25 million for supportive housing services to be matched with vouchers. *
- ARPA funding at $1.1 million in FY23, $1.1 million in FY24, and $562,500 in FY25 for supportive housing services. *
- Discharge and Diversion Services line is funded at $32.8 million in FY23and $30.3 million in FY 23, representing an increase of $2.5 million.
- ARPA funding at $3.2 million to enhance mobile crisis services.
- ARPA funding at $6 million to expand private mobile crisis services.
- Provides $16 million in FY23 for electronic health records.
- Provides $25 million in FY23 to support grant programs for private providers with $15 million to enhance wages of employees, and $10 million to support facility costs.
- Grants for substance abuse services funded at $30 million, an increase of $11.7 million over the Governor's and Appropriations committee proposals.
Office of Policy and Management (OPM)
- Provides funding for Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA's) to nonprofit providers of health and human services contracted by the state at $147 million for FY23, representing an increase of $67 million from the Governor's proposal. Budget increases funding for contracts with community nonprofits by more than $330 million since FY21, representing an average increase of 7.6%. *
- ARPA funding providing a one-time payment for nonprofit providers of $20 million in FY23. *
- ARPA Capital Projects funding at $1.8 million in FY23 to support connectivity for health and mental health centers.
- Provides new bond authorizations for Urban Act projects at $120 million in FY23.
Department of Social Services (DSS)
- ARPA funding for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at $5 million in FY23.
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- ARPA funding for Social Determinants/Mental Health at $1 million in both FY23 and FY24.
- ARPA funding for access to mental health services at $990,000 in FY23.
- ARPA funding to expand mobile crisis operations at $8.6 million in both FY23 and FY24.
- ARPA funding for Youth Services Bureaus at $2 million in FY23.
Office of Early Childhood (OEC)
- Funding for Early Care Education at $160.4 million in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $20 million for the Early Childcare initiative in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $10 million for Care4Kids in FY23.
- ARPA funding for school readiness at $30 million in FY23.
Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)
- Utilizes Community Investment Account (CIA) funding allocated to DECD for Historic Preservation at $5 million.
- Creates the Office of Community Economic Development Assistance for CDCs and provides $50 million in bonding for the grant program.
- ARPA funding at $100 million for the implementation of the Economic Action Plan in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $100,000 in FY23 for the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA) for Historic Preservation.
Department of Public Health (DPH)
- ARPA funding at $20 million in FY23 and $10 million in FY24 for healthy and lead-safe homes.
- Lowers the threshold for blood lead levels in persons at which DPH and local health departments must take certain actions.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP)
- ARPA Capital Projects funding at $5 million in FY23 to provide broadband for low-income and multifamily/ infrastructure buildout.
- ARPA Capital Projects funding at $16.1 million in FY23 to provide broadband in underserved areas/ infrastructure grants.
Judicial Department (JUD)
- Funding at $300,000 in FY23 to Community Resources for Justice to support re-entry efforts.
- Funding for Juvenile Justice Outreach services at $24.7 million in FY23.
- ARPA funding at $3.4 million in FY23 and FY24 to support temporary staffing for foreclosure mediation.
- ARPA funding at $2.9 million in FY23 and FY24 to expand housing opportunity for those on bail.
Department of Revenue Services (DRS)
- Funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at $42.3 million in FY23 for payment to eligible filers.
- Provides a one-time Child Tax rebate in FY23 at $250 for each child in a household.
- Increases the property tax credit from $200 to $300 in FY23.
Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA)
- Provides bond funding at $50 million in FY23 to encourage development.
- Expands its authority by allowing CRDA to solicit private business investment to finance certain projects.
H.B. 5205, An Act Concerning Fair Rent Commissions has passed the legislature and we expect that the Governor will sign it into law. The bill requires towns with a population of 25,000 or more to create a fair rent commission by July 1st, 2023. The commissions respond to individual tenant complaints and have the power to reduce excessive rent increases. The bill would also permit two or more towns, each with a population under 25,000, to establish a joint commission. In both instances, the commission must be created through their legislative body.
Please remember to reach out and thank your legislators and public officials who helped reinforce and push for these changes and investments, especially those you advocated for!