Housing Authority Bridges Digital Divide (Elm City Communities)

Date Published: 
February 19th, 2020

From the New Haven Independent:

Over 100 public-housing tenants are receiving two years of free internet service and free tablets in return for a promise — to attend classes on how to use them to improve their lives.

That transaction unfolded Wednesday evening at an event at the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center outpost in West Rock at 122 Wilmot Rd.

Over 120 residents of public-housing developments showed up to register for the program, under which T-Mobile is providing the tablets and the housing authority is providing two years of free service. The residents committed to attending digital literacy training and financial counseling and budget and credit counseling sessions in return. Residents can also apply to become “digital ambassadors” who receive training to assist in the educational learning for other residents in their program classes.

The Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH, aka Elm City Communities) organized the initiative as part of a federal program called ConnectHome Nation. The U.S. Department of Housing of Urban Development (HUD) put together the program in an effort to bridge the digital divide in public housing.

“Our way of getting information, our way of sharing information has increasingly become through the internet,” HANH President Karen DuBois-Walton told the crowd Wednesday evening. She said young residents have been a key focus of her agency’s digital inclusion efforts: “We want to make sure they have everything they need to succeed in school.”

Read the New Haven Independent's article "Housing Authority Bridges Digital Divide," featuring Elm City Communities.

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