CT governor Ned Lamont’s solution for housing: build more housing

Calls for spending $600 million over two years on issue

Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

The Connecticut governor’s solution to its housing problem sounds easy, but is far from it. 

Gov. Ned Lamont, while addressing real estate agents at an industry event last week, said the solution to low housing stock in the state is to build it up, the CT Mirror reported.

This, Lamont said, would spur homeowners to want to sell. 

The state, which is seeing population growth, particularly near its largest cities, had fewer than 4,000 homes on the market, down from 15,000 just four years ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

In addition, the state lacks nearly 90,000 units of affordable housing for low-income residents.

Finding solutions to tackling the affordable housing issue has been a challenge, even though apartment construction in the past two years has been at its highest in the state in over 100 years, The Hartford Courant reported.

“People want to be in Connecticut, but you need a whole variety of different types of housing. If you want to make the state more affordable, it starts with housing,” Lamont said at a press conference the next day.

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Lamont’s proposed budget includes spending $600 million on housing, including building more housing, over the course of two years.

“We’ve put $600 million over the next two years into housing,” Lamont said, according to the Mirror. “And that’s not just affordable housing, and what I call workforce housing — those are our studios and one bedrooms — often in downtown areas, hopefully next to major transit areas.”

Connecticut Democratic lawmakers in February proposed a multifaceted approach to tackle the housing shortage in the state, including converting empty strip malls and big box stores into housing, CT Insider reported.

The state senators who back the proposal said creating new, affordable housing is critical for the 100,000 employees the state needs, the outlet reported.

“We have to have the employees first, and then the employers come in,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said.

The legislature is also considering several other measures, including one that provides money to the Connecticut Housing Receivership Fund, and another that would provide state dollars for infrastructure to towns that increased housing density near transit stations. 

— Ted Glanzer