Promising to make Connecticut “a better, more affordable place to live,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy pledged more than a half-billion dollars Wednesday, February 1, for housing creation and preservation for low- and moderate-income residents, the state’s largest investment in more than two decades.
Click here to view more pictures of the event.
In a late afternoon press conference at The Lyceum in Hartford, Malloy, who made Stamford a model for affordable housing creation as its mayor, said that as mayor he wondered why other areas of the state were not taking similar actions and promised himself that, if he ever got the chance as governor, he would expand housing opportunity statewide.
Howard Rifkin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities commented:
“To those of us who’ve watched him in Stamford, and now as governor, it’s been clear that Gov. Malloy understands that a safe, secure, affordable home is the foundation of opportunity for the residents and a catalyst for economic growth. Today, he has shown not only that he understands the concrete impact of housing on the state’s well-being, but also the passion he has for the children, the workers and the families who will live in it.”
The centerpiece of the governor’s proposal is a $300 million commitment over 10 years to upgrade approximately 17,000 units of state moderate rental housing, much of it empty because it has fallen into such disrepair. That investment has long been sought by housing advocates and Malloy’s announcement was greeted giddily at The Lyceum event by Betsy Crum, Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition: “On behalf of all the advocates, can I just say, ‘Whoo hoo!’”
Governor Malloy’s housing initiative includes:
- $300 million in bonding over 10 years to preserve and upgrade public housing.
- $1.5 million a year over 10 years in rental assistance certificates for those in public housing.
- $1.5 million a year over 10 years for rental assistance payment certificates to help create 150 units of permanent supportive housing at scattered sites around the state.
- $20 million in capital funds for affordable housing.
- $12.5 million for elderly congregate housing.
- A consolidation of housing policymaking in his administration under a new State Office of Housing, to be located within the Department of Economic and Community Development.
The total $362.5 million program comes on top of Malloy’s commitment last year of $100 million in capital for affordable housing creation and $30 million in capital funds for supportive housing, along with $2.6 million a year for operating and support services. "It didn't go high enough last year,” Malloy said. “That's what we're acknowledging.” He told reporters that the state-financed moderate rental housing had not been funded adequately – and thus been left to deteriorate – since the robust housing investments made during the 1980-’90 administration of Gov. William A. O’Neill.
Governor Malloy further stated:
“For the past twenty years, the State of Connecticut has languished in its affordable housing commitments, not investing in this critical area that is needed to help individuals and families find stability and employment. It’s time we changed that approach and made Connecticut a better, more affordable place to live. As many studies have shown, every dollar spent on affordable housing generates multiple times that amount in private economic activity. Housing is going to be a key component of our success to get Connecticut moving again.”
Malloy estimated that the new housing initiatives included in the two-year budget will create or retain over 6,700 construction and other related jobs. Governor Malloy added:
“It also must be said that the need for this type of housing is necessary to help our state retain young professionals and graduates of our colleges and trade schools who cannot afford the high costs of housing.”
Click here to watch the press conference on CT-N. (For best results, use Interenet Explorer to view video.)
Click here to view the WTNH News Channel 8 news story about the event.
Additional news coverage of the Governor’s press conference and affordable housing initiative:
- Hartford Courant - Tenants, Advocates Call Malloy's $330 Million Housing Upgrade Plan 'A Long Time Coming'
- Associated Press article appearing in the following: Harford Courant, Stamford Advocate, Boston Globe, Meriden Record-Journal, Danbury News Times, Connecticut Post - Malloy unveils affordable housing plan for Conn.
- CT News Junkie - Malloy Doubles Down On Commitment To Housing
- CT Mirror - Malloy commits $300 million to state public housing
- New Haven Register - Gov. Malloy adds $330 million to housing initiatives