Affordable housing advocates and policymakers are discussing ways to expand affordable housing in Connecticut.
The Partnership for Strong Communities hosted its fourth annual Connecticut Affordable Housing Conference this week.
Nearly 600 people registered for the two day event, which offered over 20 sessions.
Chelsea Ross, the executive director of Partnership for Strong Communities, explained the goals of the conference.
“This will spotlight a wide array of best practices, collaborations, and coordinated advocacy strategies that create an environment for households across Connecticut to thrive,” Ross said.
Organizers with the nonprofit invited Majora Carter, a real estate developer and keynote speaker, to headline the event.
Carter gave a talk that featured parts of her own life growing up in the South Bronx area and how she felt there was more value in that community than the media portrayed.
Carter said perspective, in her view, plays a major role in the face of housing issues.
“I think gentrification starts when people in low-status communities don’t see the values in their own homes. Predatory speculators take full advantage of that,” Carter said.
Connecticut struggles with affordable housing. Nearly half of Connecticut’s renter population pays over 30% of their income towards housing and utilities and 86% of low-income renters struggle to afford housing altogether even if it is labeled affordable.
It’s an issue of supply and demand, according to Carter.
“Even if you want to stay close to your family and close to people that you grew up with, you can’t because no one is building that housing,” Carter said.
The Partnership for Strong Communities points to success in Farmington and Wallingford as a reason to build more affordable homes.
In October, the Connecticut Department of Housing completed financing for five new affordable housing developments, which will house residents making between 25% to 80% of the area median income.
Source : CT Public