The Struggle to Find Affordable Housing in Hartford

The Struggle to Find Affordable Housing in Hartford, Kenneth Best,

Last year, a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that it is difficult to find affordable housing in Connecticut, where earning the average wage for renters, $17.38 an hour, is not enough to pay for a two-bedroom apartment at the market rent of $1,295 a month. Minimum wage in the Nutmeg State is even lower, at $10.10 an hour.

But housing issues are not new to Connecticut residents, according to Fiona Vernal, associate professor of history and Africana Studies, who has developed a new exhibit at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center focused on the struggles of Hartford County residents to find affordable housing.

“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: African American, Puerto Rican, & West Indian Housing Struggles in Hartford County, 1940-2019” is a visual depiction of archival photos and detailed information researched by Vernal and her students detailing a 70-year history of housing struggles by those who migrated to the Hartford region. The exhibit covers intertwined housing issues, including poverty, racial discrimination, residential segregation, and public housing.

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