In New Report, Elm City Communities Details Path to More Housing

Date Published: 
July 26th, 2023

From the New Haven Independent:

Pre-approve certain building plans. Eliminate parking minimums. Support single-room apartments. Implement a land tax. 

The Housing Authority of New Haven and its nonprofit affiliates recommended those city-level policies and others while delivering a message to City Hall: when it comes to the housing crisis, ​“we can’t count on the state.”

Elm City Communities, an umbrella group including the city’s public housing agency and its nonprofit development and property management arms, released a new report on affordable housing titled ​“Breaking Ground” on Monday morning.

The report culminates a series of community conversations hosted by Elm City Communities (ECC) on the affordable housing crisis, strategizing with NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab, and research by ECC’s policy director Will Viederman. (Read the full report here.)

At a press conference outside the agency’s headquarters at 360 Orange St. on Monday, ECC President Karen DuBois-Walton said that though ECC is New Haven’s largest provider of deeply affordable housing, there are 30,000 households on the waitlist for the public housing apartments and federal Housing Choice Vouchers that the Housing Authority administers.

“Every night, I go to bed concerned about the thousands of voucher holders who are looking for quality housing in a place of their choice, a unit that they can afford, and who are struggling,” said DuBois Walton. ​“Probably even more concerning are the families we are not reaching” — families who are homeless or living in unsafe or unaffordable housing.

While much of ECC’s policy advocacy has related to statewide initiatives to develop more affordable housing in neighboring towns, the Breaking Ground report focuses on zoning reforms and other policies that the city of New Haven can enact on its own.

“Our state legislature and our governor failed to pass meaningful reforms” on housing this year, Viederman said. ​“We can’t count on the state. It’s not enough [for New Haven] to say, ​‘It’s not our fault and our neighbors should act.’ ”

Read the New Haven Independent's article "Housing Authority Details Path To More Housing."

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