The following is a statement from the Connecticut House Democrats Office:
State Rep. Jason Rojas, D-Manchester, on Tuesday praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s announcement that he is recommending substantially increasing the state’s commitment to affordable housing by adding more than $330 million to bolster affordable and supportive housing across the state.
The funding builds on last year’s commitment, which allocated more than $130 million to this effort, bringing the total commitment to nearly $500 million over the next 10 years.
“This is a long overdue investment in already existing assets that have been neglected for far too long,” Rojas said. “All of our communities that host state-owned properties will benefit from the important commitment and the families that call public housing home will be better served and have their quality of life improved.”
The proposal emphasizes the governor’s commitment to creating housing for low- and moderate-income residents as a driver of economic growth and making Connecticut a more vibrant place to work and live.
The package builds upon the initiatives Gov. Malloy included in last year’s budget, including an increase of $30 million in bonding for each of the next 10 years for public housing to bring deteriorated and vacant units back on line; an additional $20 million that will increase affordable housing options; an additional $12.5 million in capital funding to re-invigorate the state’s elderly congregate housing; and an annualized $1.5 million for the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) to support an additional 150 RAPs for scattered site supportive housing, which assists low-income families with securing affordable decent, safe and sanitary housing.
It is estimated that these housing initiatives included in the current two-year budget will create or retain over 6,700 construction and other related jobs.
“Investing in housing where there is already infrastructure is smart policy and this advances an agenda for making affordable housing more available especially since we have high housing costs,” said Rojas, who also represents portions of East Hartford and Glastonbury.
Gov. Malloy is also proposing a reorganization of the state’s housing functions into a new State Office of Housing within the Department of Economic & Community Development to provide leadership and facilitate coordination, consolidating a number of offices from several state agencies in order to strengthen the state’s structure and vision on housing initiatives.
“For the past 20 years, the state of Connecticut has languished in its affordable housing commitments, not investing in this critical area that is needed to help individuals and families find stability and employment. It’s time we changed that approach and make Connecticut a better, more affordable place to live,” Gov. Malloy said. “As many studies have shown, every dollar spent on affordable housing generates multiple times that amount in private economic activity. Housing is going to be a key component of our success to get Connecticut moving again.”
“Our commitment to increasing the availability of affordable housing is an investment in families and our economy that will result in a solid return for Connecticut residents,” Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, said. “I look forward to working with the Governor on this important initiative.”
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