Five Steps to Integration

 

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Research

Step 1: Plan for desegregation and greater housing choice. 

Improve state’s major tool for planning, the Plan of Conservation and Development, to include recommended guidelines for all regions to welcome a reasonable apportionment of the need for affordable housing. This puts us on the road to a "fair share" allocation of affordable housing. Without such changes the state will likely be out of compliance with its federal duty to affirmatively further fair housing.

Fact sheet, proposed language, and more resources...

Step 2: Balance where government-subsidized housing is located. 

All communities need housing that is affordable, at levels sustainable for municipal vitality. We need state targets that promote balance and reporting to ensure full access.

Fact sheet, proposed language, and more resources...

Step 3: Design Tenant-based Subsidies to foster choices. 

A web of policies limit choices for families using the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) and the Rental Assistance Program. We propose to expand housing authority jurisdiction, fully fund mobility counseling, and create an innovative Open Choice pilot project to begin addressing these barriers.

Fact sheet, proposed language, and more resources...

Step 4: Make desegregation obligations meaningful. 

Reinstate the ability to enforce the state law requiring desegregation by allowing people to go to court if they have faced unfair or discriminatory actions that result in segregation. For the state obligation to be meaningful, it must be enforceable.

Fact sheet, proposed language, and more resources...

Step 5: Support investments in struggling communities.

Support measures that bring resources to struggling communities and generate income mixing while ensuring the integrity of neighborhoods and protecting against gentrification. One example is lifting the income cap on homeownership programs in the state’s most poverty concentrated areas.

Fact sheet, proposed language, and more resources...

 

What will this cost and how will we pay for it in a time of budget deficits?

Many of the recommendations here are free or simply involve a reallocation of existing resources, for example, adding greater balance to the state’s existing investments in subsidized housing or adjusting housing authority jurisdiction.

Still, to make all of  these recommendations work, about $2 million is needed to fund (1) data analysis that housing agencies are already responsible for (estimated last year to cost about $250,000) and (2) mobility counseling that is currently funded at an inadequate level. These investments will ensure that Connecticut is following federal mandates that are prerequisites to the receipt of federal housing dollars while significantly decreasing the cost of compliance with the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation settlement, and supporting greater educational funding equity.  

 

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