HARTFORD – State Representative Chris Davis (R-57th) recently testified before the General Assembly’s Housing Committee in support of a bill that encourages young professionals to work and move to urban areas in Connecticut through reduced housing costs and other incentives.
Originally submitted by Rep. Davis in January, House Bill 5062 An Act Concerning Urban Housing for Young Professionals aims to prevent young people who have just received their educations in state from fleeing to other surrounding states because of Connecticut’s high cost of living.
Rep. Davis, a 26 year old legislator for the towns of East Windsor and Ellington, says the proposed legislation will help ‘foster growth and vitality of Connecticut’s essential urban centers’ by producing more affordable inner city apartments for young adults just beginning their full-time career paths.
“Connecticut is a very difficult state to begin a career and family due to the high costs of living and increasing costs of housing,” said Rep. Davis. “With the addition of mounting student loan debt in the recent years, finding housing that does not take more than 30% of your income after taxes and student loan payments can be extremely difficult in Connecticut. Being a young professional and a Realtor myself, I can testify to the daily struggles of young professionals in Connecticut to find affordable housing that meets the social and economic needs of our upcoming generations.”
Similar to state programs for the elderly and low-income adults, Rep. Davis explained that this proposal would create incentives for young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 including rent subsidies, development credit and subsidies, and home buyer assistance programs while taking into account the large amount of student loan debt most graduates have collected.
“Often times, young professionals with college degrees may make more than the 80% of the city’s media income to qualify for low-income assistance, so these proposed programs could incorporate student loan payments to qualify the individual or family of assistance,” said Rep. Davis.
The following data is provided by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW):
- Rent levels are climbing dramatically and have far exceeded the increase in income levels. In Connecticut, 66% of renters cannot afford their apartments.
- A Person must earn $23.58 an hour to afford the rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment in Connecticut. This “housing wage” is the amount a person must earn to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment, without spending more than 30% of total household income on housing costs.
- The Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area is the most expensive rental market in the entire country – surpassing cities such as Honolulu, San Francisco, New York and Boston – with a “housing wage” of $34.02 an hour.
- In terms of statewide averages, Connecticut is the sixth least affordable rental housing market in the country.
The bill now awaits favorable approval by the Housing Committee.
Rep. Davis represents the 57th district covering East Windsor & Ellington