Today, the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (serving Middlesex County, Meriden and Wallingford) held a breakfast to advocate for continued state support for legislation that will promote safe affordable housing for all state residents.
Following presentation of the group’s four-point agenda (please see below), a panel of Meriden/Wallingford-area candidates’ discussed their positions on affordable housing and solving homelessness, and took questions from the audience. Candidates in attendance included:
Catherine Abercrombie (House District 83) , Buddy Altobello ( House District 82), Mary Abrams (Senate District 13) , Hilda Santiago (House District 84), Liz Linehan (House District 103), Aili McKeen (Senate District 34), Lou Arata (House District 83), and Len Suzio (Senate District 13)
Candidates and audience members also heard from Wendy Brown, a local resident who knows about homelessness firsthand. Following a workplace accident she lost her job, and then her home. This affected three generations of her family and resulted in calling a car home until Columbus House of New Haven helped them get back on their feet. She told the group that she has recently been hired and that she and her family are on the way back to stability.
2018 Legislative Agenda
Thanks to past funding for the Department of Housing, as well as a new statewide coordinated network that efficiently helps place those with a housing emergency, excellent strides have been made in the last few years — placement of all homeless veterans and all chronically homeless individuals; and development of hundreds of units of affordable housing. the group noted that it is essential that these investments be preserved as the state works toward solving the growing issue of homeless youth; continuing to create thousands of more affordable housing units (Connecticut is the sixth highest housing cost nationwide); as well as strengthening legislation that facilitates affordable housing developments throughout the state.
The agenda includes: