The myth is that because we access State funds for our project, the GHT is really not going to be able to serve the people that GHT says are the target – those who grow up here, those who work here, and our seniors.
First, what we all must acknowledge is that if someone like the Goshen Housing Trust does not create housing that is of a type (e.g., smaller, accessible to disabled, suitable for seniors, grounds maintained, etc.) and affordable (i.e., rent or mortgage plus taxes, utilities, and insurance are less than 30% of household income) then our kids and our seniors will all move away, and we will continue to have a hard time attracting workforce-aged citizens. We have no housing options suitable for these groups today, as we have documented elsewhere.
All the State of Connecticut requires of us is that we agree to restrict the income level of qualified buyers/residents to a level below the Area Median Income for our Town. Our Area Median Income is quite high ($96,800) so these limits encompass many of the jobs that our Town depends on – teachers, municipal workers, craftsmen, retail workers, etc.
Our housing will be open to anyone interested in living here
who also qualifies.
Prime among those that we are sure will be interested are our own kids, our seniors, those who work here in Town, and those that have accepted a job here.
But just as none of us can discriminate in selling our homes, neither can GHT. We can’t say we will only sell to people from our Town, and neither can you.
We will accept applications from anyone who follows our process.
In the case of a rental unit, an applicant must first meet the income level qualifier. They must be employed. Their household income must be enough to pay the housing costs and those costs cannot exceed 30% of their household income. Their total household income can be no more than the maximum we allow and agreed upon with the State. They must be able to pay an application fee and a two-month security deposit.
They must also meet household size limits set for each unit based on the number of bedrooms.
Beyond this we will apply a consistent set of screening criteria to any applicant. These will include background criminal checks, credit history, work history, income verification, recommendations from prior landlords, prior history of legal or behavioral issues and more.
We cannot apply these checks in a discriminatory way, but we can apply them fairly to all candidates.
The experience of the affordable housing groups in the towns around us is that our kids, our seniors, and those who work here will be the biggest customers for our housing simply because they have the biggest motivation to live in Goshen.
However, any candidate that passes these extensive screening qualifications will be welcome to live here and will be a positive contributor to our community.