HARTFORD- On Thursday the Connecticut House of Representatives passed legislation that will establish a first-time home buyers program for graduates of public institutions of higher education and regional vocational-technical schools.
Graduates participating in the program would have a portion of their income taxes, capped at $2,500 annually, deposited into a fund that can be used as a down payment for the purchase of their first home. The program is available to students who graduate after January 1, 2014 and requires participants to remain as a resident of Connecticut for five years.
State Representative Tim Ackert (R- Coventry) says the program will help keep young people living and working in Connecticut, something that has been a factor in slow economic growth for years.
“As I talked to our college students it was disheartening to hear they were leaving Connecticut upon graduation,” said Ackert. “When I ask why they are taking jobs elsewhere they tell me it’s just too expensive to live here and we don’t have enough affordable housing available. Businesses can’t survive and thrive unless we get more skilled people in the workforce- I think this program will help solve all of those problems.”
Connecticut has struggled to keep and attract businesses over the years, failing to add a net job since 1990. Republicans have urged the passage of Learn Here, Live Here for the last several years claiming it will give a boost to the struggling economy and put Connecticut on more stable footing for future growth.
“We invest so much money to train and educate these young people in our schools, but once they graduate they go elsewhere,” Ackert said. “This program isn’t only an investment in our future, but it is also a protection on investments we have been making for years. It makes perfect sense.”