RENTERS’ RIGHTS: Finding an affordable rental

Finding affordable rentals
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:40 PM EST
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(WFSB) - When Joel Lynch received a $500 dollar rent increase, his first thought was, “we’re going to have to move, omg. We’re going to have to leave.”

It’s the same thought his neighbor Melva Plummer had when she was told she’d have to pay more than $700 more a month.

”I cannot afford it right now, to just pick myself up and move like that,” says Plummer. 

But after asking themselves if they could even afford to move in the first place, the next question was, where would they go?

”I don’t even know to be honest with you. You have to have money to move, to pay someplace they want one month, two month security, whatever,” says Plummer.


According to, a website that uses fair market prices set by the federal government, the average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Connecticut is $1,249. 

Two bedrooms are $1,559.

Three bedrooms are $1,944.

Of course, that depends on where you live.

“For this particular house it’s going for $2350 in Wethersfield. A year ago it would probably be $1800,” says John Zubretsky, a realtor in the Greater Hartford area for more than three decades.

He says rents have gone up about 10-20% each year, over the last couple years, and he expects them to continue to rise slightly in 2023.

”Tight market and competitive nature. There’s more than one person looking for every rental,” says Zubrestky. “It’s not only the landlords. The agents that represent them say hey, it appears to be worth $2000 but you should probably ask $2400 and you’ll probably get it. And that’s pretty much true in all of Greater Hartford.”


So how do you find what you need, at an affordable price?

”Number one: act quickly. When something comes on the market, try to be one of the first few to get in there,” says Zubretsky.

Zubretsky says one of the best ways to do that is to work with a real estate agent.

Many landlords in Connecticut pay for the realtors themselves, so you don’t have to worry about an extra cost, and they know what’s out there before anyone else.

”Any real estate agent can set you up on an automatic notifier, so as soon as something comes on the market, you get that information in real time, along with your agent,” says Zubretsky. 

If you want to try to search yourself, there are websites that can help.

”I know Zillow does a lot of rental work., Zillow, whatever you have out there - subscribe,” says Zubretsky. 

“It sounds crazy but like Facebook Marketplace is one of the ways to do it, Craigslist used to be another way to do it,” says Kara Capone, CEO of Community Housing Advocates. 

Her organization can not only help point renters toward affordable housing, and toward programs that can help with added costs.


“We have security deposit programs for folks because a lot of the time, the security deposit is usually a huge barrier trying to get a new apartment,” says Capone. You can find that information here:

Capone says if they can’t help, CT’S 2-1-1 website is the place to go. 

There you’ll find information on affordable housing programs, rental assistance funds specific to your city or town, as well as housing related events. Those resources are listed here:

One thing everyone could agree on?

“It’s going to be exhausting. It’s going to be frustrating,” says Zubretsky. 

But worth it, to find the right and affordable place.

”Because everyone wants a home. It’s one of the basic needs. You want a roof over your head,” says Lynch.


Housing Development Programs

Affordable Housing Program (AHP) (also known as Flex)

HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)

Housing Trust Fund

Land Bank Land Trust

Housing for Elderly Persons

Congregate Development Program

Affordable Homeownership Program

HOME CHDO Certification

State-Sponsored Housing Portfolio

Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program

State Housing Tax Credit Contribution (HTCC) Program

HUD Multifamily Housing Programs

Incentive Housing Zone Program

Specially Adapted Housing Program

Money Follows the Person (MFP)

Loans and Grants for Accessibility Program

Energy Conservation Loan Program

Surplus Property Program

Healthy Homes Program

Housing Affordability Initiatives

Affordable Housing Appeals Listing

Congregate Facilities Operating Cost Program

Elderly Rental Assistance Program

Assisted Living in Federal Facilities

Resident Service Coordinator (RSC) Program

Section 8 New Construction/Substantial Rehabilitation (Section 8 NC/SR)

Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program

Section 811 Project-Based Rental Assistance Program (CT811)

Time to Own - Forgivable Down Payment Assistance

CHFA Mobile Home Programs

Community Development Programs

Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program

Connecticut Main Street Program

Main Street Investment Fund

Nursing Facilities Diversification Program

National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC)

Individual & Family Support

Eviction Prevention Fund

Homeless Prevention Program

Coordinated Access Networks (CAN)/Homeless Assistance Programs

Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

Rental Assistance Program (RAP)

Security Deposit Guarantee Program (SDGP)

Renter’s Rebate Elderly and Disabled Relief Program

CT Coalition to End Homelessness

Immigrants Rental Assistance Program

Contract Library

System Wide Analytic and Projection Tool (SWAP) 

Mobile Manufactured Home Loans


On Monday, the I-Team highlighted Fair Rent Commissions and how they work. To see if your city/town has one, click here:

On Tuesday, the I-Team talked about what you can do if you’re facing an eviction. Legal resources can be found here.

On Wednesday, the I-Team looked at whether a cap on annual rent increases has worked in other cities and states.