Governor Ned Lamont On Thursday was joined by Mayor Joe Ganim, one of his election-year opponents State Senator Marilyn Moore, chair of the Housing Committee, and other state officials to announce a plan to address the state’s “affordable housing crisis.”
The news conference took place at Cherry Street Lofts housing development in the West End.
News release from Governor Lamont:
Governor Ned Lamont today held a news conference in Bridgeport to announce that the fiscal year 2024-2025 biennial budget proposal and his package of 2023 policy proposals that he presented to the General Assembly last week includes several areas of support to increase access to affordable and workforce housing throughout Connecticut.
“Last year, we built more market rate and affordable housing than any time this century, and yet we are still desperately short of available housing, particularly for low and middle-income families,” Governor Lamont said. “We cannot let our state fall into a housing crisis. Our administration is proposing significantly increased investments in affordable and workforce housing because this is a critical component needed to grow good-paying jobs, ensure businesses have the workforce necessary to fill in-demand positions, incentivize young people to stay in Connecticut, and support our economy.”
“These significant increases in resources being proposed illustrate just how serious Governor Lamont takes this issue,” Connecticut Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno said. “It is also a sign of his confidence in our agency to continue to do the necessary and important work of increasing our housing supply, as well as providing a pathway to create new homeowners. I am eager to continue working towards passing the governor’s budget with these major investments intact, which will allow the funding of new construction and rehabilitation of existing housing stock in order to house individuals and families within those income bands.”
In total, the budget proposal invests $600 million over the biennium for affordable housing using a mix of state and federal resources–approximately double the level of the current biennium. Among these investments includes:
— $100 million ($50 million annually) in the state’s popular Time-To-Own program, which offers down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers. This level of funding is expected to assist in the purchase of about 1,250 homes annually.
— $200 million ($100 million annually) to expand workforce development housing, which is expected to provide an additional 2,000 units of housing with a focus on those with a household income of 60% to 120% of the area median income.
— $100 million ($50 million annually) for the Housing Trust Fund, with an emphasis on multi-unit housing in downtown areas close to transportation.
— $200 million ($100 million annually) for flexible housing.
Through these investments, the Lamont administration has a goal of creating 6,400 new units of affordable and workforce housing over the biennium.
Additionally, Governor Lamont is proposing to enact several statutory policy changes that support the rights of renters and incentivizes the production of new housing units for low and middle-income families. These include:
— House Bill 6666, An Act Expanding Renters’ Rights: This bill expands the rights of renters by limiting security deposits to just one month; raises fines for landlords for housing code violations from $250 to $1,000; and ends the ability of small landlords to discriminate based on sexual orientation. [Read fact sheet for more information]
— Senate Bill 985, An Act Incentivizing Housing Production: This bill takes several steps to encourage the creation of new housing units for low- and middle-income families by leveraging new bond funding for the Municipal Redevelopment Authority to stimulate economic and transit-oriented development; requiring all municipalities to provide annual data reports on housing production and demolition as a requirement for receiving certain discretionary state funding; and requires a study to be conducted that identifies underutilized state-owned property that could be leveraged for housing. [Read fact sheet for more information]
For more information on the governor’s budget and legislative proposals, click here.