As I reflect on a year that has been challenging in so many ways, I take comfort in recognizing the great strides that Open Communities Alliance has made with your support. Together, we are driving the changes in housing policy necessary to ensure that every community is a community of opportunity. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff, board, and supporters of OCA for leading this charge.
Connecticut remains one of the most racially and economically segregated states in the country, so we are laser-focused on ensuring equal access to opportunity for everyone—regardless of race, ethnicity or income. The strategies, policies, and legal precedents we have and will continue to develop will contribute to promoting housing choice and integration nationwide. In the last few months alone, we:
Brought a major fair housing civil rights action against the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and others, working with former residents of dilapidated government-funded housing in Hartford’s struggling North End, who failed to honor residents’ wishes and their right to access housing in thriving neighborhoods.
Challenged exclusionary zoning in the Town of Woodbridge, CT by filing a submission requesting that it make fundamental town-wide changes to its zoning ordinance to address its exclusionary history, modeling a strategy we hope will spur changes across Connecticut.
Collaborated with higher opportunity suburban communities and our coalition of over 300 individuals to dispel myths about affordable housing development. We’ve provided education about the history of segregation, the importance of access to opportunity, investments in impacted communities, and fair housing laws.
In partnership with national civil rights organizations, filed a federal lawsuit calling out the Trump administration’s rollback of civil rights in a new regulation that dismantles the right to bring “disparate impact” claims, which have helped counteract systemic barriers to fair housing for decades. The outcome of this case could have implications for the entire nation.
- Introduced Fair Share Zoning, a new, more equitable approach to zoning in Connecticut in which every town contributes to meeting an appropriate portion of its region’s need for affordable housing.
We are really just beginning, of course, but off to a terrific start!
I look forward to a new year of continued growth as we build a community where everyone has access to the opportunities that will help them thrive. Thank you for standing with us.
Erin Boggs, Esq.