Growing together: Let’s end segregation and build a better economy

Erin Boggs & Sam Giffin | CT Post

Housing — and housing segregation — has never been so expensive.

Connecticut is one of the costliest places to live in the country. We have the 10th-highest housing costs, so one might expect it to be bursting with high-quality jobs and workers flocking to our state to take part in a thriving economy. Instead, the state’s work force has dropped by 92,000 people since this time last year. Even worse, Connecticut is close to last in economic and population growth in the country. It’s not a coincidence that Connecticut is also one of the most segregated states in the country. Our broken housing policies lead to segregation and economic stagnation — and we pay for it through the nose.

When families spend too much on housing, it means less income to spend on everything else. Transportation, education, food, health care, retirement, necessities at the small business down the street. Almost 500,000 families cashed strapped by sky-high housing costs adds up to billions of dollars that are not spent in Connecticut’s local economies. This is a huge, hidden blow to our local businesses, with ripple effects throughout the state. Small businesses need a better housing policy.

Our economy cannot grow — our larger businesses cannot thrive — if workers don’t have a place to live. In the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s 2021 Survey of Connecticut Businesses, 79 percent of employers responded that it is difficult to find workers. It makes sense, then, that more employers said they would make a greater investment in employee retention than anything else. The state’s business leaders see what is at stake here — their very ability to do business. Big businesses need a better housing policy.

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