SUBASE New London Joint Land Use Study Implementation Project
New London County, Connecticut
Southeast Council of Governments
General Dynamics Electric Boat
Urbanomics prepared a market analysis and 20 year housing forecast for the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments' (SCCOG) 2019 JLUS Implementation Study. This project functioned as a regional plan for housing and transportation associated with the expansion of submarine shipbuilding in around the Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) and its neighboring Towns of Groton, Ledyard, Waterford, and Montville, and the Cities of Groton and New London. Subsequent to the completion of the JLUS, Electric Boat, with major facilities in the cities of Groton and New London, announced contracts with the Navy that are expected to increase employment at Electric Boat by at least 5,000 through 2030, while a wave of retirements is anticipated to require the company to replace an additional 14,000 employees.
The market analysis included a baseline assessment of economic conditions across the region in terms of employment, wages and business growth, as well as socioeconomic characteristics in terms of population, households, and housing supply. Additionally, Urbanomics evaluated regional housing affordability for workers at Electric Boat given current wages and administered a survey to Electric Boat employees to better understand the dynamics of their housing needs. The housing forecast considered future demand against the existing housing unit inventory and future housing development activity in the pipeline.
The market analysis and housing forecast were utilized by SCCOG to consider the impact of growth associated with the SUBASE on the 22 SCCOG-member towns. Urbanomics showed existing housing and proposed development in the pipeline would largely meet the needs of new households expected from expanded shipbuilding over the near-term as long as the market continues to respond. The housing market would need to deliver more than 500 units annually through 2030 and another 130 units per year over the following decade. Urbanomics made additional recommendations to facilitate development activity including encouraging development of first-time buyer programs, support for development across a range of income levels for both single-family and rental units and the development of home rehabilitation programs for seniors.