Housing is the single largest – and least flexible – expense in most family budgets. Analysts agree that housing should cost no more than 30 to 33 percent of your income. However, due to limited choice and the high cost of housing, many Connecticut families are forced spend as much as 50 percent of their income on housing, leaving too few dollars for other basic needs. The result – bad options and lots of stress – hurts families and has a ripple effect throughout the community.
In Middlesex County, 22 percent of homeowners and 40 percent of renters are under extreme housing burden, meaning they pay more than 35 percent of their income on housing. In Old Saybrook, 63 percent of renters spend more than the recommended percentage of their income on housing; 53 percent in Deep River; and 38 percent in Westbrook; and 52 percent in Essex.
The public is invited to join a conversation and pot luck, hosted by the Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force January 7, about affordable housing needs along the shoreline.
Housing advocates will be in attendance to lead a discussion about town demographics and what affordable housing looks like, and they will provide information about families and individuals who are working full time but still unable to make ends meet. The conversation will address how the town can establish small and longer-term goals that could increase affordable housing options along the shoreline. Housing advocates leading the discussion are: Lauren Ashe, Executive Director of HOPE Partnership; Sarah Bird, Executive Director of Middlesex Habitat for Humanity; Dawn Parker, Project Manager at The Connection; and staff from Middlesex United Way.
More panels will be held in shoreline towns on the first Thursday of each month. The purpose of these conversations is to bring awareness about affordable housing to each town in the Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force’s service area and to get people thinking about potential solutions in their community. The Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force is a collaboration of community groups and concerned people, working to affect change that increases self-sufficiency among vulnerable individuals and families in need along the Connecticut Shoreline.