Housing challenges persist statewide. But there are reasons to remain optimistic, CT governor says
Connecticut is in need of more housing units, from affordable apartments to single-family homes.
Gov. Ned Lamont addressed realtors at the Connecticut Association of Realtors conference at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Monday. Lamont offered advice on how to attract residents and sell homes.
“First of all, you need more housing inventory. We're desperately short right now. And we've put $600 million over the next two years into housing, and that's not just affordable housing,” Lamont said. “But frankly, those are studios and one bedrooms, often in downtown areas, hopefully next to major transit areas.”
Lamont said building more apartment complexes near downtown areas may entice older residents and empty-nesters to sell their homes and downsize, allowing more single-family homes to come on the market.
Connecticut became a popular destination during the COVID-19 pandemic as new residents sought refuge from larger neighboring cities with higher COVID rates, such as New York City.
“We had about 60,000 young families move into the state of Connecticut in 2021 and 2022, I think in part, because our schools were more likely to be open. And our restaurants were more likely to be open. And our parks and beaches were open,” Lamont said.
“For the first time in a long time, we had tens of thousands of young families — not guys like me, young families — coming into the state of Connecticut and and we're working hard to keep that momentum going.”
Lamont’s administration is dedicating more attention to the establishment of Transit Oriented Developments, which place an emphasis on housing near bus and train hubs. It is also working on expanding access to housing and incentivising housing production.
The governor urged each municipality to comply with the mandated affordable housing plans required from each town by June 2022.
The state’s last data update, provided in March, shows more than 30 municipalities have yet to submit an affordable housing plan to the state Office of Policy and Management. There are no consequences for non-compliance.
“If you don't come up with a plan, and then there's (CT General Statute) 8-30g and other ways that developers can try to move things along. Hopefully our towns are going to come up with their own plan,” Lamont said.
“If you care about your town, you want it to be a town where the kids who grew up there, now a little bit older, can afford to live there, a place where the parents who raise their kids can afford to stay there. It's the right thing to do," Lamont said. "And we're giving you incentives to do it.”