Everybody jokes about Millennials still living with mom and dad. But, what’s driving that phenomenon? Won’t work? Can’t do without mom’s cooking? Just want more quality time with the ‘rents? Not hardly, especially if you’re talking about Connecticut.
Why have young-adult living arrangements changed so drastically between 2005 and 2015 (according to the latest U.S. Census data)? Traditionally, the timing of living independently was tied to when young adults married and started a family. Nowadays, though, not only are Millennials delaying marriage and family, many simply can’t get out from under mom and dad’s roof.
A report from the U.S. Census notes that, “housing markets shape the ability of young people to find good jobs and affordable housing, which in turn affects whether and when they form their own households.”
So, what’s happening here in Connecticut? The census shows that as of 2015, 41.6 percent of Connecticut’s age 25- to 34-year-olds still lived at home. This level of home-bound adults is only surpassed by New Jersey, where almost 47 percent still have not struck out on their own.
And, when you add in the number of young adults living with roommates, a full 64 percent of Millennials in the state can’t or don’t want to live on their own.
Affordable housing has always been a challenge in Connecticut. As of the second quarter of 2017, the median Connecticut home value was approximately $282,000, well above the national average of $255,000, according to bankrate.com.
Connecticut’s Open Community Alliance notes that there are many issues that impact the availability of affordable housing, with local zoning being the most significant. Connecticut law requires towns to permit the development of affordable housing, however, many towns prevent such construction through restrictions, limiting the number of units per acre, or placing large lot requirements.
Of the state’s 169 towns, approximately 140 have less than ten percent of housing that’s affordable. That’s why one of Liberty Bank Foundation’s top priorities is expanding the availability of affordable housing throughout our state. After all–if our own children can’t afford to live here, what does that mean for the future of our state?