Ticket To A New Life: Federal Vouchers May Open Doors For Residents Of Dilapidated Housing In Hartford, Matthew Ormseth, Hartford Courant, August 16, 2018, available here
Many of Ku’s tenants are now eyeing suburbs beyond Hartford. But already, housing advocates say, the bureaucracies that distribute housing assistance are steering them back towards neighborhoods they’d hoped to leave behind.
“We have the chance to do something very unique here, and HUD is going to foot the bill,” said Cori Mackey, director of the Christian Activities Council. “But, at every turn, the thought is: ‘Let’s do what we’ve always done before.’”
In a meeting last month, Boggs, the housing advocate, gathered with several dozen of Ku’s tenants in the basement of an Albany Avenue church. If they move to an Avon, a Glastonbury, a West Hartford, she told the group, most of whom were women and all of whom were black or Hispanic, their children would make several hundreds of thousands of dollars more over their lifetimes, have a greater chance of going to college and lower chance of becoming teenage parents.
“We were held hostage here,” said Josh Serrano, who has lived in Ku-owned buildings for the last 13 years. Serrano, 26, became a father at 15. “We can fall into the same spot, end up piled up in the same spot.”
“But if we choose carefully,” he added, “we can end up in a better place.”