New Haven: Will SROs Succumb To Gentrification?

Downtown New Haven photo by Michel G. is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Downtown New Haven, Connecticut.

From the perspective of a global and national affordable housing crisis, its difficult to avoid shaking the head in disbelief at the sight of a city, blessed with a traditional, effective form of affordable housing, trying again and again to tear affordability down in favour of market rate accommodation, or even no housing at all.

New Haven continues to debate the fate of existing Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings as if the affordable crisis will simply disappear if there is NO affordable accomodation available in the city, rather than the little that already exists. This extreme head-in-the-sand attitude is presumably premised on the idea that an affluent upscale city is of no interest to the homeless.

Perhaps they should do a little homework to consider the plight of affluent, upscale cities and neighbourhoods that have already become magnets for the homeless. They could try: Do Homeless in America Go Where Affordable Housing Is? Or Isn’t?

Whatever New Haven’s decision on the SRO issue, it certainly raises the issue of which governments are the adults looking for solutions to the affordable housing crisis, and which are the toddlers. The State of Connecticut has made important strides towards requiring new affordable housing statewide. For more try: Connecticut Sinks the Affordable Housing Hook Into Slippery Communities

Should there not be some muscular statewide initiative to either prevent or penalize the willful destruction of existing affordable housing?

For more on New Haven’s apparent SRO toddler tantrums, try this article in the New Haven Independent: SRO Moratorium Revived Amid Critique