• Connecticut’s Pending Affordable Housing Bills Mistakenly Prioritizes Affordable Rental Housing Over Affordable Owner Occupied Housing

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    All of the affordable housing bills pending before the Connecticut State Legislature are about
    providing more affordable rental housing not affordable owned housing in Connecticut. Most
    accomplish it through building market rate rentals with a small percentage of affordable
    rental units that after a certain time revert to market rental rates.

    Towns where affordable condominiums or homes are either constructed or repurposed from
    commercial units do not count towards a town or city’s affordable housing stock. This is
    sending a message that the Connecticut Legislature is against towns striving to increase the
    rate of home ownership by working class and middle class residents.

    The argument that affordable owned units cannot be constructed by any means is incorrect.
    The proof is that affordable, not luxury affordable housing can be built is that it was done on
    a large scale in the post World War II period.

    At the end of World War II a large number of soldiers returned home, quickly married and
    needed housing for their new families. Creating political stability required employment and
    the opportunity to live the “American Dream” of employment, home ownership and family.
    Entrepreneurial builders overcame the obstacles of what had been an expensive and
    inefficient housing industry which was plagued with shortages leading to higher pricing and
    unaffordability. This was accomplished using the Levitt Model of building smaller sized
    houses that were built in an assembly line model where the assembly line moved from house
    to house completing up to 30 houses a day.

    1. This occurred despite the fact that during the 1950’s land values in prime suburban neighborhoods had increased by as much as 3,000%.
    2. Unlike the 1950’s the demand for the builder to run an assembly line has been replaced with an economy of scale alternative the modular home. Condominiums with smaller footprints per unit require less land overcoming the high land cost obstacle.

    New affordable housing should prioritize affordable ownership rather than rentals. Towns
    should work to find appropriate sites where they can be built and streamline the regulator
    process for affordable home construction.

    Submitted by Dr. Michael Goldstein, Greenwich

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    Dr. Michael Goldstein

    Dr. Michael Goldstein is running for U.S. Congress. You can learn more about his campaign here: https://goldsteinforcongress.com/

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