High Costs of the Housing Crisis
Dec 05, 2022
Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity Engages Community for Equitable Housing Access
The high cost of housing in Fairfield County is commonly accepted as a tradeoff for living in a community known for terrific schools, abundant open spaces and beautiful waterfronts.
But this narrative hides the fact that Fairfield County is facing a housing crisis that threatens our community’s short- and long-term economic health.
Simply put, our community does not have a large enough supply of affordable housing to accommodate those who live and work here.
“Communities need a range of housing options that are available to them,” said Sharon Calitro, Planning Director for the City of Danbury’s Department of Planning and Zoning. “There is a clear need for both homeownership and rental housing, and we need to ensure we are trying to address that gap and are providing units to those who need them the most.”
When those who live and work in a community have access to affordable rental housing and have a clear path to homeownership, they have a better opportunity to thrive and build family assets.
That’s why we joined forces with the Housing Collective, Regional Plan Association and the Partnership for Strong Communities to launch Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity (FCCHO).
FCCHO works with residents, government, community organizations, nonprofits and business leaders to identify and implement equitable solutions to Fairfield County’s affordable housing challenge.
“There is a clear need for both homeownership and rental housing, and we need to ensure we are trying to address that gap and are providing units to those who need them the most.”
Planning Director for the City of Danbury’s
Department of Planning and Zoning
To date, 125 local organizations are leveraging FCCHO data to inform their affordable housing planning strategies; 2,200 local residents have engaged with the program; and 269 residents have participated in Fairfield County Talks Housing, a program that organizes community-led meetings to connect residents with experts and local officials about housing in their towns.
“You can’t just create a plan in a vacuum,” Sharon said. “You need to first get all of the resources and people involved who hold this issue close to their heart. You need to connect with advocates to engage the community, and I believe that’s what we’re achieving here.”
For more information on Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity, please contact Julian Pierce, Director of Economic Opportunity, at JPierce@FCCFoundation.org.
Learn more at FCCFoundation.org/Housing.