Rocky Hill, Conn.
The Governor's veto of Public Act 17-170, An Act Concerning the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure, seeks to ensure that there is continued growth in the stock of affordable housing across Connecticut.
Connecticut United Ways' 2016 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report revealed that 38% of Connecticut households are struggling to make ends meet. Many ALICE households are considered housing burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. ALICE households make up 20% or more of all households in two-thirds of Connecticut's municipalities.
Connecticut is the sixth most expensive state for housing and throughout much of Connecticut, the cost of available housing is too high relative to the actual incomes of ALICE workers. According to the 2016 ALICE Report, a family of four would need full-time work with a total hourly wage of $35.39 ($17.70/hour each for two working adults) to afford the ALICE Household Survival Budget, a barebones budget that includes a conservative estimate for the cost of housing. Even with one of the highest median hourly wages in the country, 49 percent of jobs in CT pay less than $20/hour. Connecticut has made real progress in the past few years, creating more than 10,000 affordable housing units since 2011 (with more in the pipeline). But the need is still great and now is not the time to slow progress down.
When households are overburdened by housing costs, they are faced with living in substandard housing, moving farther away from jobs, and even falling into homelessness. High housing costs also makes it difficult for low and moderate income families to afford basic necessities such as food, child care, transportation and health care.
As expressed in our 2017 Policy Agenda, Connecticut United Ways support increasing the supply of affordable housing. As part of our work to support ALICE Families, United Way produced an issue brief in 2015 on the challenges many families face in Connecticut paying for housing. For more information on these challenges faced by hardworking ALICE families please visit http://alice.ctunitedway.org/housing.