Study: Hartford Is A Housing Bargain For Those Who Don't Live There | Connecticut Public Radio

Study: Hartford Is A Housing Bargain For Those Who Don't Live There

Aug 3, 2011

A new study by a Hartford housing advocacy group says it's getting even harder for the state's residents to afford to buy a home.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Over the past year, housing prices in the state have started to creep back up.  But the median state income has gone down by 3.5 percent -- it's now roughly $65,000.  According to the Partnership For Strong Communities, the combination of rising home prices and falling incomes means that half of the state's residents can't afford to buy a home in two thirds of its towns and cities. Howard Rivkin is the organizations's executive director. "If you're a teacher or a firefighter or a police officer or an EMT, you well may not be able to afford to buy a place in the town in which you work. And so choice and mobility are compromised." The study also points out an interesting dynamic about the state's bigger cities.  Take Hartford for instance.  Housing prices in the city are among the lowest in the state.  But so is Hartford's median income of just $26,000.  Again, Howard Rivkin.  "So what it says to me is that there are good housing bargains to be had in Hartford, but not for residents of the city of Hartford.  And that plays out in other distressed municipalities like Bridgeport and New Haven, Willimantic.  It's an example of some of the socio-economic isolation that exists in the state." You can find more on the study at For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.