A recent report examines Connecticut’s eviction crisis and addresses some solutions to it. The report from Connecticut Voices for Children finds 39% of renters in the state who were not current on rent payments felt they would be evicted in the next two months. That rate was higher for Black and Latino renters, reaching 54% and 56% respectively. The report also finds high absenteeism rates correlate to some kids facing housing insecurity. But, the report takes a look at some short-term policy recommendations to help renters in the state.
Samaila Adelaiye, research and policy fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children, said one of the primary areas of focus was income support.
“When it comes to income and income equivalent supports, we make recommendations for making the Connecticut property tax credit fully refundable and available to renters. Because while renters indirectly pay property taxes, they do not have access to relief through Connecticut’s property tax credit,” Adelaiye said.
He added they support different pieces of legislation addressing tenant protections. Other recommendations in the report include increasing funding for rental assistance, making a state child tax credit permanent, and sustaining funding for the state’s Right to Counsel program. This report is one of a two-part series; the second report will address more long-term solutions.
Although the report provides avenues for alleviating Connecticut’s eviction crisis, there are additional questions it raises. Adelaiye noted most of these revolve around renters in the state having enough money for other necessities outside of rent. He said there are numerous issues coming out of the state’s housing crisis.
“We know that evictions particularly are the product of the housing affordability crisis is causing more socio-economic harm, increasing financial strain leading in some cases to homelessness.”
From here, Adelaiye said the high cost of housing must be addressed, with rent caps being one way to do that. Currently, Connecticut Senate Bill 4 would have included a rent cap, but that was eliminated while the bill was in committee. However, should the bill pass, it will allow for a series of tenant protections including a winter eviction moratorium, making it illegal to evict anyone from December through March.