From the New Haven Register:
The campaign over the state’s need for affordable housing and the power of mostly white suburban enclaves in one of the country’s most-segregated states was renewed in the General Assembly on Tuesday, when lawmakers heard public testimony on a variety of bills, including legislation that would allow housing authorities to purchase properties in adjacent towns.
During an afternoon-long virtual hearing of the legislative Housing Committee, property owners and managers said that state regulations are hurting them and costing them money, while tenants warned that they are becoming victims at a time when landlords can force out those who pay lower rents because the owners can bring in new tenants who’ll pay sharply higher amounts.
Karen Dubois-Walton, president of the Elm City Communities/The Housing Authority of New Haven, said that allowing agencies like hers to purchase and develop affordable properties in neighboring towns would be an important way to allow more people to live in high-quality, affordable and market-rate dwellings.
“Housing authorities, as originally contemplated, were not in the business of development, and the laws on the books, currently, in Connecticut reflect the original housing authorities, not necessarily the housing authorities of today,” Dubois-Walton said. “Out of necessity, we have moved away from your old-style public housing into becoming much-more developers of mixed-income, mixed-finance type of communities.”
She said current laws limit housing authorities to work only within the borders of their municipalities. “At the same time, we all know, and this committee has been really great at looking at the issues of the lack of affordable housing in our community and trying to find pathways to expand that,” she said. “I believe this bill is a no-nonsense, easy opportunity to add another tool to our box about how we can create affordable housing.”
Read the New Haven Register's article "CT Lawmakers again tackle the need for housing in one of the nation’s most-segregated states," featuring Elm City Communities.