Advocates say CT needs over 137,000 affordable housing units. They want it fairly allocated to more towns.
Deidre Montague | Hartford Courant
Jahaira Vega said she was in shock when she received an eviction notice from her landlord requiring her and her two daughters to leave their apartment after 16 years of living in West Hartford.
She knew the landlord was upset with her for reporting heating and electrical issues in her apartment, but Vega said she never imagined having to relocate her family to another home.
It is stories such as Vega’s that prompted the Growing Together Connecticut coalition of 38 local organizations to hold a briefing to address the high cost of housing within the state and call for change.
The coalition is advocating for more affordable housing in the state, using a four-step equitable zoning proposal that, among other things, seeks to update local regulations to allow more housing in more towns and have the state provide incentives and enforcement. The state needs about 137,304 affordable housing units, according to coalition estimates.
Open Communities Alliance Executive Director Erin Boggs, a member of the coalition’s steering committee, said the state now is one of the most expensive to find housing and one of the most segregated.
“These things go together because when you take most of the state off the table for development and beautiful, denser, more cost-effective housing, the only, and only a few, municipalities step up to the plate welcoming such housing, you inevitably wind up with soaring housing costs, disinvestment from particular areas, barriers and accessing others,” Boggs said. “This is a formula for family economic hardship, and statewide economic stagnation. It’s not surprising that there are currently over 100,000 vacant jobs in our state, workers need a place to live that they can afford.”