Since its founding in 2013, Open Communities Alliance (OCA) has been and continues to be an effective catalyst in achieving impact by researching and documenting root causes of segregation, engaging and empowering families, exploring solutions and best practices, educating stakeholders and, finally, advocating for change. OCA has an established track record of successful substantive projects, collaborations, legal challenges, and publications throughout its history. OCA’s efforts are anchored around:
Research & Data
- Creation of tools like our Opportunity Data Portal.
- Publication of research and data including our Out of Balance: Subsidized Housing, Segregation and Opportunity in Connecticut.
- Making connections between policies and outcomes, including educational and health outcomes.
- Promotion and enforcement of fair housing policies through legislative and administrative advocacy.
- Facilitation of the development of affordable housing and addressing exclusionary zoning.
- Supporting housing choice through advocacy on issues including mobility counseling and search assistance, balanced subsidized housing development, and urban revitalization.
- Taking action through impact litigation including our victory in OCA v. Carson.
Outreach & Community Organizing
- Convening a Coalition and conducting statewide outreach to educate and empower communities to advocate for improved access to opportunity.
- Community educational events to promote the benefits of housing integration and to counteract the history of intentional government segregation, including panel discussions, book tours, webinars and more.
OCA’s ambitious mission of unwinding Connecticut’s history of government-perpetuated segregation focuses on reducing social, economic, and health disparities experienced by low-income families of color and generating access to “opportunity” by establishing pathways to affordable housing in thriving communities. At the core of OCA’s work is connecting to a network of community partners in under-resourced areas and empowering them with the research, data, advocacy, and legal expertise to ensure that interested families have a genuine choice in where they live.
What is Opportunity?
Where you live affects your access to resources like thriving schools, safe streets, and healthy food. Areas with an abundance of these and other resources are “high opportunity areas.” Areas that need more of these resources are “low opportunity areas.” Access to opportunity in Connecticut varies significantly depending on race and ethnicity. The Alliance is dedicated to bringing resources to lower opportunity areas and linking to higher opportunity areas people who historically have not had access to them. More about the Opportunity Philosophy.
Inequality of Opportunity.
Some racial and ethnic groups are much more likely to live in low opportunity areas: In Connecticut, 73% of Blacks and Latinos as compared to 26% of Whites and 36% of Asians.