Sen. Chris Murphy secures funding for housing study

The Pentagon's Office of Economic Analysis is providing additional funding to southeastern Connecticut to study housing needs in the region, given an uptick in submarine construction.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., helped secure $182,366 in funding recently approved for the housing study. Already, $166,313 was approved to hire a consultant to work through a list of recommendations that came out of a joint land use study for the Naval Submarine Base and surrounding area. The Southeastern Council of Governments is the recipient of both grants.

Participants in the study found that greater attention to housing issues was needed, hence the additional money.

Electric Boat steadily is building two attack submarines per year with Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, and in a few years the company will start construction on a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines. The company says it needs to hire 14,000 employees over the next 10 years to do that work. It also will bring more sailors and their families to live in the region. Murphy has estimated that there will be 500 additional sailors and families coming to live here.

He raised the issue during an April 27 hearing of the Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, and received a commitment from Navy Vice Admiral Dixon R. Smith and Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, to work with Murphy to ensure there's an adequate supply of housing in southeastern Connecticut. That led to the additional funding, Murphy's office said this week.

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