The Connecticut governor’s solution to the housing problem sounds easy, but it’s far from it.

Speaking to realtors at an industry event last week, Gov. Ned Lamont said the answer to the state’s lack of housing inventory is to build it, Reported by CT Mirror.

That, Lamont said, would create an incentive for homeowners to want to sell.

The state’s population is growing, especially near its largest city, but fewer than 4,000 homes are on the market, down from 15,000 four years ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Additionally, the state is short of nearly 90,000 units of affordable housing for low-income residents.

Finding solutions to the affordable housing problem has been a challenge even as apartment construction over the past two years has hit its highest level in the state in more than 100 years, the Hartford News reported.

“People want to live in Connecticut, but you need all kinds of different types of housing. If you want to make the state more affordable, start with housing,” Lamont said at a news conference the next day.

Lamont’s proposed budget includes spending $600 million over two years on housing construction, including building more homes.

“We’ve spent $600 million on housing over the next two years,” Lamont said, according to the Mirror. “It’s not just affordable housing, which I call workforce housing — those are ours. Studio and one bedroom – usually in urban areas, hopefully close to major transport areas.”

Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut proposed a multifaceted approach in February to address the state’s housing shortage, including converting empty malls and big box stores into housing, Reported by CT Insider.

State senators who supported the proposal said building new affordable housing was critical to the state’s 100,000-employee workforce, the outlet reported.

“We’ve got to get workers in first, and employers in second,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.

The Legislature is also considering several other measures, including one to provide funding for the Connecticut Housing Conservation Fund and another to provide state funding for infrastructure in towns that increase housing density near transit stations.

— Ted Glazer

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