Study looks at senior housing

"I love Danbury and I don't want to leave, but we might have to," she said. "My health is not in the best shape and I have to do something."

Waller, 66, said it's nearly impossible to find affordable senior housing in the region, especially single-level housing for those with mobility issues.

Public housing has waiting lists of up to three years, she added, while the costs of private housing are out of control.

"They built some senior housing in Danbury, but it's going for $499,000 with $500 a month in common charges," she said. "What senior can afford that?"

A lack of senior and affordable housing will be addressed in a regional housing assessment to be completed this year by the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials. The study will identify the available housing stock in the region and the needs.

HVCEO director Jonathan Chew said the study will result in an updated database that town planners can use. It will include various affordable housing development options.

"This will take all the information on housing in the region and put it into one place," he said. "Once the needs are identified then we can find ways to address those needs."

Chew said the idea came from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton's Task Force on Homelessness, which recommended that HVCEO hire a consultant to assess housing issues.

The last time HVCEO did a similar study was 18 years ago. Harrall-Michalowski Associates of Hamden has been selected to conduct it.

"This will be a very valuable tool for us," Boughton said Friday during a meeting of HVCEO members at the Brookfield Town Hall.

"It will help us to understand development patterns, where the needs are and what type of developments we should be encouraging and discouraging."

Chew said the study, which is expected to cost around $25,000, could begin as early as July and should be completed within nine months.

Contact Dirk Perrefort at

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