As Connecticut continues to fall short on adequate affordable housing and rental costs outpace income, state officials hope a new Department of Housing will help reverse that trend.
Operational plans for the new department were laid out this week during testimony before the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee. The Interagency Council on Affordable Housing said most of the state’s housing services and funding programs should be folded into the department, creating one stop for developers and residents seeking services. That would mean transferring staff and funding from state Department of Economic and Community Development to the new department. Some advocates indicated that the recommendations don’t include the state’s major funding source for housing — the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). “I see this as a good first step, but it misses a chance to be a great first step. You can’t do that and leave CHFA out of the mix. There needs to be strong effort to incorporate them into the mix,” James Dunn a nonprofit housing developer said.