A new survey shows while most Connecticut residents enjoy living here they worry that lack of jobs, good public transportation, quality health care, and the dearth of affordable housing will drive many of them to flee the Nutmeg State.
The Connecticut Community Survey, conducted by AARP Research, found that 78 percent of registered Connecticut voters 25 years and older feel it is important for them to live in their hometown and state; half of them said it is “very important.’’
But, the 1,000 surveyed said if state leaders don’t address the state’s myriad of economic and other societal problems, that population erosion is inevitable.
“The report shows us Connecticut voters want to remain in their communities, while signifying the need for our state to address gaps in the quality of important safety, economic and health resources available,” AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan said.
Duncan said AARP is asking state politicians to address the community resources important to keeping residents in our state, including the need for affordable housing, transportation and family caregiver support.
“We will seek to work with legislators in 2017 on remedies to features we can all agree are important to quality of life,” Duncan said.
Duncan said a livable community provides resources that allow residents to age-in-place, and fosters residents’ engagement in their community’s civic, economic and social life.
“Creating more livable and age-friendly communities gives Connecticut residents safer and better choices for living independently throughout their lives while saving the state millions of dollars,” said Duncan. “Studies have shown that approximately three seniors can receive care in their own home – the place 90 percent prefer to live – for the cost of one in the community.”
Connecticut lawmakers have been working on at least a few of the measures highlighted in the survey.
House Democrats have said they plan to propose exempting Social Security income from Connecticut’s income tax when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. However, that means they will then also need to find $47 million to replace the revenue the state would lose under the proposal.
Exempting Social Security from Connecticut’s income tax is an idea that was first pitched by Republicans.
The state also has plans to move to a system that relies more on caring for the elderly in their homes, as an alternative to nursing home care. However, progress toward moving in that direction has been slow.