U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of West Haven, Connecticut is an established suburban primarily residential community located immediately west of New Haven and approximately 70 miles east of New York City. It is directly on Long Island Sound and is traversed by Interstate 95 and State Route 1. The City is 10.5 square miles and is one of the most densely populated municipalities in the State. Its current population of 54,021 is holding steady with a sizable elderly population and a minority population of 14%. The housing stock is varied with the oldest and most fully developed residential areas in the northerly and easterly sections. Much of the city's housing is pre-1970 units.

Action Plan

The City of West Haven's Consolidated Plan includes a One Year Action Plan that advances the goals and objectives reflected in the Five Year Strategic Plan. The Action Plan budgets $771,000 in Community Development Block Grant entitlement funds, primarily in housing acquisition assistance/rehabilitation and activities to enhance neighborhoods. The City does not received HOME, ESG, HOPWA, or HOPE funds.

Citizen Participation

A mayoral appointed Citizen Advisory Committee (representing city neighborhoods, service recipients and special interests) serves as the focal point of the City's Citizen Participation process. Procedurally, the process is divided into two separate but concurrent parts: the Consolidated Plan (Strategic Plan) and the Action Plan (CDBG funding). The Community Development Administration (CDA) oversees the City's CDBG program and serves as the lead agency for both the Strategic and Action Plan(s) development. Commencing in November 1994, a total of five public hearings and one thirty day comment period preceded Legislative adoption of the Consolidated Plan on April 25, 1995. Additional citizen input was sought via an extensive mail survey to all known neighborhood, city-wide and regional organizations or agencies with an interest in housing or community development needs.


West Haven is located in New Haven County, approximately 70 miles east of New York City. 10.5 square miles in area, the City is bounded on the north and east by the City of New Haven and New Haven Harbor, on the west by the Towns of Orange and Milford and on the south by Long Island Sound. West Haven has over three miles of public beaches and is home to the University of New Haven, the Veterans Administration Medical Center and Bayer Laboratory.

The 1990 population of 54,021 was 84% white, 12% black and 3% Hispanic and 1% other minorities. While the overall population has not increased significantly in the past 10 years, the percentages of minorities and Hispanic persons has shown a steady increase. Median family income was $42,750 with 31.5% of the population at or below the low/moderate income level.



Recent population estimates reflect a level (or decreasing) population vis a vis the 1990 census. In 1990, the City faced a severe financial crisis with a resulting drop in bond rating. Since that time, a series of layoffs, new labor contracts and other cost saving measures has returned the City to solvency and restored the bonding rating. However the lingering economic decline of the northeast in general and of Connecticut in particular continues to point out the need to stabilize and then expand the municipal tax base. At the foundation of the property tax base is the owner-occupied unit. Property tax revenue provides 61% of the city's revenues (as of 1994-95). As much as 42% is realized from residential units. It is vital to the city's long term financial well-being to maintain existing owner housing stock and provide for increase through sale or new construction. Creating an attractive housing market of this nature will have an expanded benefit to economic development by making West Haven a desirable place to work as well as live.

Housing Needs

  1. Vacant rates for housing is currently at 6.2% overall (with a slightly higher percentage for rental units). It is the general perception that adequate numbers of rental units exist throughout the City. 60% of the owner-occupied units have 3 or more bedrooms but this segment also has one of the lowest vacancy rates.

  2. Data suggests that housing problems are economic in nature and are shared across racial and ethnic lines. As to be expected very low income households are most in need of some sort of assistance. Overcrowding is of major significant, as is the inability to purchase owner-occupied homes (especially first time homebuyers).

  3. The city does not currently contain any shelter(s) for the homeless. Individuals are referred to shelters in neighboring communities such as New Haven. Families that become homeless are sheltered via two methods: 1) The City's Department of Human Resources maintains two apartments fro short-term occupancy (3-6 months); 2) rooms at local motels are used on an as-needed basis. Anecdotal evidence shows a burgeoning population of families in need due to continuing effects of the recession. The City has managed to cope through the judicious use of the above cited resources.

  4. The West Haven Housing Authority administers over 617 units of low income/elderly housing (which it judges as in good condition) and almost 700 certificates/vouchers. The City's elderly population is large (almost 20%), so the need for supportive services and adequate housing remains as important consideration.

  5. Newly revised zoning ordinances and a recently completed Plan of Development have addressed institutional barriers. High property taxes continue to restrict sales of existing housing and new construction.

  6. A fair housing impediment analysis is currently underway; the report is expected to be available before the end of the fiscal year.

  7. Because of a high number of pre-1970 houses, estimates reflect a large percentage of units with lead based paint. Actual reported cases of EBL totaled 45 during the previous FY.

  8. The lack of available land for growth (West Haven is 10.5 square miles of mostly developed land) almost requires an "adoptive reuse" approach to zoning and land use.

  9. Like any older urban community, West Haven's public infrastructure was first constructed years ago and is showing signs of deterioration and/or is inadequate to meet growing needs. Correction and improvements to sewer and sanitary lines and pump stations is mandated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and has already begun. City roads are generally in reasonable shape but recent harsh winters has caused serious deterioration in a number of areas. The City contains over three miles of public beaches which are most vulnerable, subject to serious erosion due to storm and tidal action.

  10. Local coordination efforts are organized under the aegis of the Community Development Administration. These efforts draw on established communication lines among C.D.A., other city departments and/or local/regional non-profit or state agencies, and are greatly aided by the small size of the local bureaucracy. The Community Development Administration is a division of the City's Planning and Development Department (which also includes Planning and Zoning, Grants-in-Aid, Building, Property Maintenance, et.al.). Sharing the same chain of command facilities coordination and the exchange of information between divisions. Routine contact is maintained with the Department of Human Resources, which administers the Welfare, Health and Human Resources Departments.


Housing problems in West Haven arise from inadequate income for home ownership and/or maintenance as well as an inadequate tax base. Long range objectives focus on improving the opportunity to purchase a home (especially first time buyers) improving/eliminate substandard conditions and expand the tax base to lessen the burden on individual home owners.

Housing priorities for this fiscal year include Substantial Rehabilitation of owner- occupied units, moderate rehabilitation for rental units, direct homeownership assistance and rental assistance. Aid to alleviate homelessness will continue to come via existing programs for temporary housing.

The non-housing needs of the City are reflected in its Five year Capital Improvement Plan and include: upgrade of the entire Water Pollution Control system, conversion of a vacant building into a new Community/Cultural Center, improvements to existing recreational facilitates and a privately financed redevelopment of a mixed use area of the City. The latter will seek to change largely vacant, underutilized or abandoned housing into an economically viable mixture of commercial, industrial and housing use.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

There are several social service agencies and/or programs that are available to households below the poverty line. Given its proximity to New Haven, not all these programs are based in West Haven but all are available to West Haven residents.

Taken together, these agencies West Haven Fair Rent Commission, Community Mediation Services, New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA), West Haven Community House, W.H.E.A.T.

Currently the primary financial resources for implementation of established ConPlan priorities is the C.D.B.G. To a lesser extent, the City provides support via its Welfare and Human Resources Department. Private non-profit social service agencies (e.g. W.H.E.A.T., West Haven Community House, Clifford Beers Satellite Clinic) will assist through their own resources.

The Community Development Administration is responsible for the coordination needed to develop the Strategic Plan and for administering the C.D.B.G. program which is the prime financial resource. Actual implementation of services is predominately done by sub- contractors operating under Community Development Administration oversight.


The FY 95-96 Action Plan utilizes $771,000 in C.D.B.G. and $58,000 in program income to implement the goals of the Strategic Plan. Houisng components make up the majority of funded activities:
1. Residential Rehabilitation$215,000
2. West Haven Housing Authority$ 50,000
3. Downpayment Assistance Program$100,000
4. West Haven Public Library Accessible Entrance$ 54,000
5. Public Services; including legal aid assistance, community
enrichment and recreational programs and a variety
of social services

The locations are in low/moderate residential areas, though none of these section(s) has been designated as a targeted area above the others. C.D.A. expects to provide 20 low interest rehab loans and up to 12 downpayment assistance loans (once implementation commences; an additional 100 households will be served by C.D.B.G. funded support services.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects in addition: a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts neighborhood streets and proposed HUD funded projects, as described in the table under MAP 5.

To comment on West Haven's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Ralph A. Paolillo, Jr.
Community Development Manager
355 Main Street
West Haven, CT 06516
(203) 937-3550
FAX: (203) 937-3704

Return to Connecticut's Consolidated Plans.