CT Facing Rise in Evictions
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Connecticut is seeing a record high number of evictions. During 2022, the state recorded more than 21,000 evictions filed, despite a decline from 2017 to 2020, according to the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.
One of the driving factors for this increase is rising rent and a higher cost of living due to inflation.
Dahlia Romanow, staff attorney at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, said the lack of pandemic-era protections plays into the growth in evictions.
"In 2020 and 2021, the state had protections in place that prevented a lot of tenants from being evicted," Romanow explained. "And then, those protections were lifted, but the effects of the pandemic have not ended. We're still seeing many people in dire financial situations and facing eviction."
Tenant rights groups in the state will push for caps on rent in the upcoming legislative session. Romanow added rent caps are needed to ensure tenants have a sense of stability and know they can afford their rent. Although some towns in Connecticut have Fair Rent Commissions, others don't, leaving some renters unsure where to go if they have a complaint about rents being raised too much.
A Right to Counsel program has been set up in Connecticut, but has limited access since it is still being rolled out. Romanow feels better funding for the program would make it viable to those facing evictions throughout the state. Romanow noted some of the factors behind rising rents.
"I think what's happening is that there's inflation everywhere right now," Romanow pointed out. "We are in a financial crisis. We are probably heading into a recession and so, yeah, to an extent some of it is that landlords' costs are rising."
She stressed another factor is landlords taking advantage of the situation. Romanow has seen some rent increases which would cover more than just a landlord's rising costs.
Increased gentrification can also drive rent increases, specifically in areas such as New Haven, Stamford and Hartford. She hopes tenants get what they need to prevent price-gouging rents from costing a person a place to call home.
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