(WTNH) – It’s no secret that Connecticut does not have enough houses and apartments, especially affordable ones. A group called DesegregateCT held a press conference in West Hartford to announce what it hopes will be the start of a statewide program to change housing policy.
“We have lived under local planning and zoning regime for decades now of slow housing growth, and we are now suffering the consequences of that,” said Sean Ghio, Senior Policy Advisor at the Partnership for Strong Communities.
Activists call the proposal Work, Live, Ride, hoping it will change things.
“This is many sizes fitting all problems that we have with not only keeping young people in Connecticut but affordable housing issues,” said Alan Cavagnaro, the DesegregateCT Campaign Coordinator.
Work, Live, Ride would be an optional program for cities and towns. A state Office of Responsible Growth would work with municipalities to plan affordable housing and housing districts specifically around public transportation.
DesegregateCT is holding up West Hartford as an example. It changed its zoning policies to encourage more housing around the Fastrack bus line. Activists say that’s a step in the right direction.
“But what we want to see the state do is coordinate more state funding across different agencies to make sure all the different projects that need to happen in these districts get built, particularly on the affordable housing side,” said Pete Harrison, the DesegregateCT Director.
More people using public transit means fewer cars, which is better for the environment and everyone’s health. It could also help families that are struggling to make ends meet.
“If people are spending all of their money on transportation and on housing, then that means that they have fewer resources to invest back in our communities and invest back in our main streets,” said Michelle McCabe, the Executive Director of the CT Main Street Center.
DesegregateCT hopes to get Work, Live, Ride included in this year’s state budget.