Katy Shafer, Interim Policy Director, Partnership for Strong Communities.
We at the Partnership for Strong Communities are fortunate to work with dozens of partners who expertly do the varied work that, together, has allowed us to make so much progress in the fight to provide all Connecticut residents with safe, secure, affordable homes.
As a housing policy organization charged with educating and advocating for understanding and support, we see the production of HousingInCT every year as one of our primary contributions to that collective effort.
It is vital for us to share with policymakers, partners and all state residents a clear and up-to-date sense of Connecticut's housing situation: the successes, the challenges and the changing climate that we must confront if we are to prevent and end homelessness and create the wide array of housing choices we need.
That's exactly what HousingInCT2016 accomplishes. Taking the housing pulse of Connecticut, it reports that Connecticut policymakers -- Gov. Malloy, the General Assembly, many municipal leaders and key advocates -- are creating much of the housing we need. In 2016:
- Connecticut became the second state to end veterans’ homelessness and remains on track to end chronic homelessness.
- The Department of Housing reported in November that it had produced 1,028 new units in 2016, 929 of them affordable, for a total of 8,572 affordable homes since 2011.
- The 2016 Point-in-Time (PIT) count (annual census of homelessness) showed a 20% drop in chronic homelessness since 2015.
- Since January 2015, CT has housed more than 1100 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Yet, slight improvement in both wage disparity and Connecticut’s state ranking in median monthly housing costs was nevertheless outweighed by:
- An increase to $24.72/hour in the state’s housing wage – what a worker must earn to afford a typical 2-bedroom apartment in Connecticut – from $23.02 only two years earlier.
- Virtually no change in the number of households paying 30% or more of their income for housing, officially “burdened” by their housing costs, while a quarter of a million households remained “severely burdened,” spending more than 50% of their income on housing.
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