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Trends and Changes in Assisted Housing in Connecticut

AHAL Report Coverby Sean Ghio

Partnership for Strong Communities has released a new report from PSC policy director Sean Ghio, “Trends and Changes in Assisted Housing in Connecticut: A View from the Affordable Housing Appeals List, 2002 – 2020.” The Connecticut Department of Housing collects and maintains an annually published Affordable Housing Appeals List that provides a count of government-assisted and deed-restricted housing for each Connecticut municipality used to determine exemption from Section 8-30g. This report examines the last 19 years of data from the Affordable Housing Appeals List.

While the supply of assisted housing has grown in communities of all types across the state, assisted housing continues to be overwhelmingly concentrated in our cities. By 2020, the supply of assisted housing grew most in municipalities that already had the most assisted housing in 2002, most conspicuously Hartford. In 2020, 70.6% of Connecticut’s BIPOC residents lived in the 31 municipalities exempt from Section 8-30g. Hartford alone provides 11.9% of the state’s assisted housing supply – 39.9% of Hartford’s total housing supply is restricted as affordable. The continued growth of assisted housing in places that already have significant affordable housing supply risks further concentrating poverty and reinforcing Connecticut’s already deep racial segregation.

Deed restrictions requiring housing affordability, whether through Section 8-30g developments, inclusionary zoning ordinances, or other methods, remain a small, but important, part of the overall assisted housing supply. The supply of homes with deed restrictions preserving affordability grew by 150% in nineteen years while still representing a small portion of overall assisted housing supply. These units are distributed more broadly across the state in 2020 than in 2002, providing valuable affordable housing opportunities in many communities that are otherwise lacking in assisted housing. Nevertheless, the affordability gap remains. One of every two renter households in the state pay an unaffordable amount of their income on housing costs.

Map of Assisted Housing ChangeOur state’s assisted housing stock remains highly concentrated in a small number of communities, primarily communities of color, with higher concentrations of poverty.  If we are to truly break away from Connecticut’s intense levels of economic and racial segregation and fulfill the promise of affordable housing – opportunity, we will need to enact policies that explicitly serve to expand the supply of assisted housing in towns across the state.

 

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to see Affordable Housing Appeals List data tables.

Click here to view maps of changes in the supply of affordable housing at the town level.