A new report outlines long-term solutions for what it calls Connecticut’s eviction crisis.
The Connecticut Fair Housing Coalition found there were 21,000 evictions in the state last year, and Connecticut faces a shortage of 89,000 affordable homes, according to the Low Income Housing Coalition.
Samaila Adelaiye, research and policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children and the report’s co-author, said though employment declines from the pandemic have bounced back, rents are growing faster.
“Over the past, I think, three years or so, there’s been such an increase in rents and the cost of rents,” Adelaiye observed. “And in general, the amounts of money that people are making — even with whatever increase there might have been — is still lagging behind, in terms of the kinds of increases in these rents.”
The report noted the trend has gone on much longer than the last few years. From 2005 to 2021, inflation growth in rents far outpaced median household incomes. The report recommended having the General Assembly enact laws prohibiting use of eviction records as a basis for denying renters’ applications, and laws giving courts power to seal or expunge records of tenants who have been evicted through no fault of their own.
While the state took steps to make serious housing reforms in the previous legislative session, the report cited other issues to be addressed. One is the proliferation of out-of-state landlords buying Connecticut properties and raising rents. Adelaiye noted affordability has become an even more serious issue, which can lead to further problems.
“Many families and children are going to find themselves blocked from opportunity, are going to find themselves blocked from finding their way out of economic insecurity, are going to find themselves blocked out of communities where they can thrive,” Adelaiye outlined. “Because the state hasn’t done enough to ensure that their access to housing is not blocked by certain man-made barriers.”
Evictions declined in the state between 2017 and 2020, according to the Connecticut Fair Housing Coalition.