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Report Highlights Need for Affordable Housing

In Connecticut, 25 percent of households earn incomes above the poverty level but below the basic cost of living. (USDA/
In Connecticut, 25 percent of households earn incomes above the poverty level but below the basic cost of living. (USDA/
February 5, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. - Thirty-five-percent of Connecticut households are struggling just to get by, according to a new report from United Way.

The ALICE Update - "Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed" - on housing adds to the findings of another report on the needs of low-income families issued last year. According to Richard Porth, chief executive of United Way of Connecticut, one-third of homeowners and half of all renters in in the state, including the working poor, pay more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing.

"One of the solutions that we point towards is the creation, the production, of more affordable-housing units across the whole state," he said.

Connecticut's state government has created 7,500 units of affordable housing since 2011, but according to the ALICE Update, there is still a significant need for more.

Porth said the purpose of the original ALICE report was to bring attention to the obstacles faced by the 25 percent of Connecticut households with earnings above the federal poverty level, but below the basic cost of living.

"When households are overburdened by housing costs," he said, "they have to make some really tough choices in order to pay for other basic necessities like health care and transportation and food and so forth."

Across Connecticut, Porth said, United Way has focused its community impact work on the needs of low-income families, including those threatened by homelessness and food emergencies.

The report is online at

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT