© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fairfield County housing nonprofit looks to businesses to boost workforce housing

Connecticut Housing Partners CEO Renée Dobos speaks during the launch of Connecticut Housing Partner's workforce housing impact fund, asking local companies and employers to donate to a fund that will create more affordable housing in Fairfield County at the headquarters of floor manufacturer HMTX Industries in Norwalk, Connecticut June 6th, 2024.
Abby Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Connecticut Housing Partners CEO Renée Dobos speaks during the launch of Connecticut Housing Partner's workforce housing impact fund, asking local companies and employers to donate to a fund that will create more affordable housing in Fairfield County at the headquarters of floor manufacturer HMTX Industries in Norwalk, Connecticut June 6th, 2024.

An affordable housing nonprofit is calling on Fairfield County businesses to contribute financially to the creation of more workforce housing in the region.

Connecticut Housing Partners launched a workforce housing impact fund, enabling low income renters to live comfortably in the community where they work.

Bridgeport-native Jermaine Morgan has lived in a South Norwalk affordable apartment owned and operated by Connecticut Housing Partners for a decade.

Morgan said he has benefited from reliable, affordable housing, and wants to see it expanded.

“Hopefully this program grows and it continues to get better, and a lot more people hear about it. It just creates more of an equal opportunity for everyone out there earning a low income,” Morgan said.

Connecticut Housing Partners affordable housing residents Jermaine Morgan (left) and Christopher K Oliwa speaking with a guest during the launch of Connecticut Housing Partner's workforce housing impact fund, asking local companies and employers to donate to a fund that will create more affordable housing in Fairfield County at the headquarters of floor manufacturer HMTX Industries in Norwalk, Connecticut June 6th, 2024.
Abby Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Connecticut Housing Partners affordable housing residents Jermaine Morgan (left) and Christopher K Oliwa speaking with a guest during the launch of Connecticut Housing Partner's workforce housing impact fund, asking local companies and employers to donate to a fund that will create more affordable housing in Fairfield County at the headquarters of floor manufacturer HMTX Industries in Norwalk, Connecticut June 6th, 2024.

Connecticut Housing Partners is asking local employers, with an emphasis on large manufacturers in the area, to contribute financially to the fund, which will operate as a land bank, Connecticut Housing Partners Chief Executive Officer Renée Dobos said.

“What we’re focused on is the people that are in our community that’re serving us,” Dobos said. “When we go see the pharmacist, when we go get our hair cut, when we get our nails done. These are the people that we’re talking about, all the people that we interact with every day.”

The workforce housing fund will allow Connecticut Housing Partners to purchase land as soon as it becomes available and construct new affordable housing or rehabilitate existing buildings, Dobos said.

“I need all business organizations to help me with that, because the state can't do it by itself,” Dobos said. “We all need to do it together, and there's a lot of big business out there that has a lot of resources that can really be put to good use and really make an impact.”

While the program is in the early stages, Dobos hopes to raise $5 million to kickstart the fund within the next year.

Workforce housing are homes or apartments affordable to residents earning between 60% and 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI), Dobos said. It enables employees to afford rent in the community where they work.

Cost is often a burden to constructing new affordable homes, according to housing advocates.

The state is short by more than 90,000 affordable units, according to the Connecticut Partnership for Strong Communities.

The average household income in Fairfield County is around $100,000, according to 2021 U.S. Census data. Statewide, the median household income is slightly more than $88,000.

“It's always easier to point fingers, but I think a lot of it has to do with a little bit of everybody,” Morgan 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.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.