Basic Needs Snapshot

Rising Inequality

Income Inequality in Greater New Haven

Income inequality has grown dramatically in the past four decades. Since 1980, the number of Greater New Haven residents living in middle class neighborhoods has shrunk while the populations of affluent and poor neighborhoods have more than doubled. One in ten residents in our region is living in poverty. 

Poor neighborhoods have less access to community resources such as well-funded schools, parks, and health care services, which put the residents who live there at risk of negative health and quality of life outcomes.   

Within Greater New Haven, 44 percent of households spend more than the federally-recommended one-third of their income on housing costs. Lack of affordable housing also can force people to live farther from their jobs, impacting their stability and quality of life.

Food insecurity is trending in the right direction. One in seven residents in the region, an one in five in New Haven, report not having enough money to buy food over the course of a year, a condition known as food insecurity. 

This compares to three years ago when one in five Greater New Haven residents and one in three New Haven residents reported being food insecure.   

See these and other indicators in The Community Progress Report: Measuring the Wellbeing of Greater New Haven.

What the Community Foundation is Doing

The Community Foundation supports services that target immediate basic needs as well as efforts that seek long term solutions. 

Recent Highlights:

  • Homeless providers in the region recently collaborated to launch the New Haven Coordinated Access Network (CAN) -- a new homeless referral and services system within the region. CAN  has standardized the assessment, referral, and placement of homeless individuals and families and improved collaboration, efficiency, and transparency among service providers. A grant from the Community Foundation to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness supported the first implementation of CAN. The Community Foundation continued its commitment to CAN in 2016 through a grant awarded to New Reach. Read more about CAN and the regional work to reduce homelessness.

  • Other 2016 Grant recipients include: The Beth-El Center and the Diaper Bank. 

  • Grants ending in 2015 to the Connecticut Food Bank, Community Soup Kitchen, and the Beth-el Center supported the distribution of food and meals to those in need. Connecticut Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry increased access to affordable, fresh foods in 11 underserved communities in Greater New Haven. 


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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