The day – Preston residents asked for opinions on affordable housing



Preston – Residents are being asked to comment on a new affordable housing plan in response to state legislation that calls on all towns and cities to complete a five-year affordable housing plan by June 1.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is working with Carly Holzschuh, a city planner with the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, to draft the new plan, which will outline how the city will meet housing needs. The committee seeks the opinion of residents through a new survey published on the city’s website, preston-ct.org.

According to a press release provided by Holzschuh, affordable housing means that families earning 80% or less of the region’s median income pay no more than 30% of their income for housing.

For Preston and other towns in Southeast Connecticut, a single person earning less than $ 56,000 per year or a family of four earning less than $ 80,000 per year would qualify. Amid the ripple effects of COVID-19, median single-family home selling prices in Preston have risen from $ 222,500 in 2019 to $ 291,450 in 2020, a 31% increase in one year, according to the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors, making housing affordable and providing an urgent challenge in the area, Holzschuh said.

The survey asks residents for their thoughts on the city’s demographics, their vision for the future of their community, and whether they’ve had difficulty paying their rent or mortgage, especially due to COVID-19.

“Affordable housing” is primarily housing that can fit the budgets of workers such as teachers, firefighters, police, people who work in town hall, ”says an introduction to the online survey,“ and people who work in service occupations such as retail (a single person earning less than $ 56,000 per year, or a family of four earning less than $ 80,000 per year).

The first five questions ask residents if they agree, strongly agree, disagree, or strongly disagree on issues such as whether Preston should be looking to attract young families to town, whether young families “are the sign of a thriving community ”and if the elderly want downsizing should have affordable housing options in town.

Combining these issues together, a question asks for opinions on whether “Investing in a range of housing options in Preston is an investment in the future of the city, including affordable housing for the elderly and the poor. first-time home buyers ”.

The survey continues with open-ended questions about what residents “enjoy living in Preston” and the challenges landlords face in town and whether they are having trouble paying their rent or mortgages.

Residents are also asked what types of affordable housing they think would be “right in Preston”, including senior and disabled housing, single-family homes, federally subsidized rental units, subdivisions with certain units. affordable and rental apartments.

The last section asks for demographic information about the respondents.

The responses will help the Planning and Zoning Commission set priorities and recommendations for the next five years, Holzschuh said. The commission will contact residents again in the spring before the plan is finalized, she said.

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