Governor Ned Lamont yesterday announced that he has signed a declaration that will enable crucial federal support Connecticut has been receiving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – including supplemental food benefits for households in need and non-congregate housing for individuals experiencing homelessness – to continue through December 28, 2022, or until the federal public health emergency ends, whichever is earlier.
The governor specifically stated in the declaration that he does not intend to issue any executive orders under this declaration but rather wants to ensure that his administration has the authorities necessary to apply for and receive federal assistance in response to the pandemic.
“We cannot ignore the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income families and communities, many of whom continue to depend on public assistance programs administered by the state,” Governor Lamont said. “The continuation of this declaration ensures that Connecticut residents who need additional support during this time will still have access to those resources.”
Having this declaration in place throughout the pandemic has enabled Connecticut households that are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to access supplemental, emergency benefits to purchase food. On average, these supplemental benefits have been providing households an additional $154.74 in food benefits per month, with all enrolled households receiving at least an additional $95.00 per month. Connecticut has received and distributed $748 million in emergency SNAP benefits since these additional allotments were first provided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service at the onset of the pandemic.
The declaration has also enabled the state to place 6,090 individuals experiencing homelessness and several hundred survivors of domestic violence into non-congregate housing during the pandemic. Non-congregate housing is a location where each individual or household has living space that offers some level of privacy such as hotels, motels, or dormitories. Between March 2022 and May 2022, approximately 1,183 individuals experiencing homelessness were placed in non-congregate housing. Since the pandemic began, Connecticut has received $7.7 million in federal reimbursements for this non-congregate housing assistance and is expecting an additional $20.2 million in pending reimbursements.