Under outgoing Gov. Dannel Malloy, the state of Connecticut invested more than $1.5 billion in affordable housing.

That investment renovated or created 25,000 housing units, with 22,000 affordable units, across the state, according to the state Department of Housing, created by Malloy in 2013. That’s about $60,000 per unit of housing, a high cost because of the extensive site remediation often needed, said Dan Arsenault, DOH legislative program manager. The state’s $1.5 billion spending – mostly in the form of deferred low-interest loans to private developers – was matched by $2.5 billion in private sector investment, DOH said.

“Connecticut had withdrawn from playing an active role in housing,” Malloy said in an interview last week. “The number of dollars going into housing had shrank – not just based on inflation, the actual dollars going to housing had almost disappeared. So if we were going to change the trajectory of affordable housing in Connecticut, we needed a housing department.”

Subsequently, Connecticut became the first state to end chronic veteran homelessness and the only state to match all chronically homeless people with housing, DOH said.

The issue is urgent because Connecticut remains the ninth most expensive state to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Housing policy and overall housing value have a complicated relationship, but the Stamford-Norwalk area was the fifth most expensive metropolitan area to rent a two-bedroom in the nation in 2018.

Even with state subsidies and investment, in fiscal year 2017 only 31 of 169 towns met the state guideline of having affordable housing comprise 10 percent of their housing stock. This greatly affects who can afford to live where.

Malloy acknowledged the state still has far to go.

“Have I corrected the ills of the last 300 years? The answer is no,” said Malloy. “Have I made those matters worse? The answer is no.”