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CT governor says housing expansion is a priority, but Republicans are skeptical

The legislative session opens in Hartford with a speech from Governor Lamont on the state of the state and upcoming budget priorities.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
During his State of the State address on the opening day of the 2024 legislative session, Gov. Lamont said the recommended biennial budget prioritized housing.

During his annual State of the State Address, Gov. Ned Lamont emphasized the importance of creating more housing inventory across the state and expanding construction, particularly in some of Connecticut’s major cities.

The recommended biennial budget makes housing of all types a priority, adding apartments and making it easier for families to purchase homes, Lamont said.

“We have too many people who cannot find a place to live – it is not available, or it is not affordable,” Lamont said. “Our biennial budget doubles our investment in housing–workforce housing, affordable housing, supportive housing, elder housing, and downtown apartments.”

Lamont’s administration is looking to turn brownfields and abandoned industrial zones into new housing.

“Today, multi-family housing is being built on empty parking lots and in half empty office buildings, and old brownfields are being remediated into a new community where your child or grandparent can afford to live,” Lamont said.

Republican state lawmakers are skeptical of the housing plans Lamont outlined in his speech.

Increasing housing stock won’t fix other systemic issues, Republican House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said.

“You may be seeing more housing being built in these cities and there's window dressing but when you dig down deep the culture of this upcoming generation is in turmoil, and we need to do more." Candelora said.

He suggested Lamont isn’t prioritizing other important issues statewide. Juvenile crime rates and school attendance should receive additional attention, according to Candelora.

In his recommended adjustments to the second year of the biennial budget, Lamont also focused on increasing access and quality of early childhood education and care, including at-home daycares.

“Our budget provides the biggest commitment to childcare in our history, an additional $90 million next year alone, providing additional pay for early childhood educators and higher reimbursement for our centers and family care homes,” Lamont said.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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