Courant Editorial Highlights Need for Continued Foreclosure Help in CT

House with a front porchDespite the fact that foreclosures have declined since the height of the housing crisis a decade ago, Connecticut still has the 5th highest number of foreclosures in the nation.

 

 

An editorial in today’s Hartford Courant states:

Foreclosures haven’t ended, sadly. More people will lose their homes without this remarkable service.

The program was set up to “prevent preventable foreclosures,” in the words of Jeff Gentes, a lawyer with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. It helps those who have fallen behind in mortgage payments work out a solution with lenders without having to learn arcane property law, he says. […]

The state provides mediators who guide borrowers through the document-gathering phase and meetings with lenders. […]

One indication of the program’s success is that 73 percent of the borrowers who go through it do end up keeping their homes. Often the mediator helps them negotiate a loan modification so they get a lower interest rate and more time to pay the debt.

During the last year, the Center has been contacted by seniors, people with disabilities, and others who have lived in their homes for years asking for help to stop a foreclosure.  When the Center assures the family that the Foreclosure Mediation Program can help them determine if there is a way to prevent foreclosure or alternatively, to provide a graceful exit there is an almost audible sigh of relief.  Unfortunately, the program is scheduled to end (“sunset”) in mid-2019 unless the legislature extends it or makes it permanent.

Removing the sunset provision and keeping the foreclosure mediation program alive for the thousands of Connecticut homeowners who still need it will help prevent homelessness and save the state money in the long run.

Read the full Courant editorial. 

Learn more about the Center’s work to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

 

Coded Language in Response to Affordable Housing Bill

I was driving home and listening to our state legislators debate an additional amendment to H.B. 5045, An Act Establishing Accountability for Fair and Affordable Housing through Zoning Regulations, and what I heard made my heart sink.

The bill was proposed by the Fair Housing Working Group, a bipartisan group of legislators, housing and land use policy experts, fair housing advocates (including our Executive Director), and developers formed last fall under the leadership of CT Dept. of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein.

The bill’s original intention was to enforce current state law which requires every municipality to permit the development of multifamily housing to help integrate our neighborhoods. Currently, twenty municipalities in Connecticut do not permit any multifamily housing anywhere in their towns.  Arguably, many more have a written provision for inclusion, but often any proposed multifamily development never materializes past the planning stage, unable to get planning and zoning approval.  All of the towns without multifamily zones are disproportionately White.

The bill does not require towns to develop multifamily housing, and it does not even require any multifamily housing developed to be deed restricted as affordable. The bill only requires municipalities to include provisions for multifamily housing (either by right or special permitting process) – something that has already been a requirement for twenty-five years!

However, the law currently on the books has no real consequences for municipalities that choose not to comply.  The main difference in this new bill would have been the inclusion of an enforcement measure: towns who do not allow multifamily housing development could lose state discretionary funding.

Unfortunately, long before the vote, the debate was already focused on the removal of any such enforcement measure.

One representative described the bill as “draconian,” while another explained that the bill “would make it impossible to maintain the character of his town.” Given that multifamily housing is the least expensive way of promoting integration, it is clear that there is limited political will to move in this direction. The debate on H.B. 5054 suggests that some Connecticut leaders believe that making all 169 municipalities in our state available to everyone is a cruel directive to impose on the communities that have ignored the current law for twenty-five years. It suggests that rural areas should only be made available to individuals and families who have the economic means to purchase homes, and that the preferred “character” of these communities means excluding diversity.

I often say that we need to remember that people write policy, and that policy does not write itself.  People make decisions that determine how we develop Connecticut, and the debate among our state representatives was extremely disheartening, and clearly indicated why we remain an extremely segregated state.

Don’t miss this year’s Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner!

It’s hard to believe that this year is the Center’s 10th annual Mildred & Richard Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner!  Whether you’ve been coming since the beginning or you’re thinking about joining us for the first time, here are a few frequently asked questions about this annual event:

What’s with the long name? 

Mildred and Richard Loving - Man with arm around woman

Mildred and Richard Loving

In 1958, just five weeks after they were married, Mildred and Richard Loving were arrested in their Virginia home in the middle of the night.  Their crime? Living together as an interracial couple.  A judge gave them a choice: go to jail or leave the state of Virginia.  They chose the latter, leaving behind friends and family and the close-knit community where they’d spent their entire lives.  It was the ultimate form of housing discrimination.  For years, the Lovings lived in exile in Washington, D.C., barred from even visiting their hometown.  They started a family of their own and tried to move on, but never stopped dreaming of the day they could return home.

By the mid-1960s, the Civil Rights Movement was making national headlines, and Mildred Loving was inspired to write to Attorney General Robert Kennedy to ask for help.  He directed her to the ACLU, which took on the Lovings’ case – eventually all the way to the Supreme Court.  The landmark 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia effectively overturned bans on interracial marriage in 16 states.

Like most of the clients we serve here at the Center, the Lovings were regular people who never intended to become civil rights activists.  They simply wanted to live their lives together in the place they chose to call home.  But thanks to their courage and persistence, they not only won the right to move back home to Virginia, but ensured that no other family in America would face the same kind of discrimination – at least not legally – again.  It seemed quite fitting to name our annual civil rights award after them.

Learn more about the Lovings in the Oscar-nominated 2016 feature film or the 2012 documentary by 2014 Loving honoree, Susie Ruth Powell.

 

Two women smiling, holding a length of raffle tickets

Be sure to get your House of Wine tickets at the dinner!

Where does my money go?

All proceeds from the Loving Award Dinner benefit the Center’s work to ensure that all people have equal access to housing opportunities in Connecticut, free from discrimination.  When you register for the dinner, bid on our live auction items (more on those in a minute), buy a roll of tickets for a chance to win our House of Wine ($20 gets you an arm’s length of tickets to win 50 bottles!), or donate in other ways throughout the night, you’re helping us to:

  • Provide information and free legal assistance to over 1,100 Connecticut residents each year facing housing discrimination or home foreclosure – people like Towanna, Natalie, Charles, Mavis, and so many others.   We continue to see housing discrimination against people with disabilities, people of color, families with children, people with housing vouchers, and other protected groups every day, in every corner of the state.  CT’s foreclosure rate remains in the top 10 in the country.
  • Conduct research, testing, and analysis to assess systemic barriers to fair housing in Connecticut’s housing markets, and we challenge those barriers when we uncover them.
  • Provide education and outreach on the fair housing laws to thousands of residents, housing providers, social service providers, and others, and organize foreclosure prevention clinics statewide.
  • Advocate for policies and practices that protect equal access to housing, defend homeowners’ rights, and promote integrated, inclusive communities.

 

Two women hold bid numbers in the air at an auction.

What will you bid on this year?

What will I see in this year’s auction?

If you’ve attended in past years, you’ll find a mix of old favorites and new items to bid on!   Here are just a few:

  • Winner’s Choice – Authentic Mexican Dinner for 8 in Your Home *OR* Mexican Cooking Class in Your Kitchen!
  • Family ticket pack to Hershey Park + $250 gift card towards your lodging or meals!
  • Champagne Brunch in a Treehouse – a perennial favorite!
  • Family Fun packages – sporting events, museum memberships, ski passes, and more!
  • Local Theater & Dinner Packages
  • And more unique and fun items!

Plus, don’t forget about our famous House of Wine – a chance to win a hand-selected mix of 50 reds and whites, enough to stock your wine cellar (everyone has one of those, right?) for a year… or maybe just for the summer – we won’t judge.

 

Who’s being honored this year?

Betsy Julian

Betsy Julian, 2018 Loving Award honoree

This year, we’re commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.   Because this work is far from over, our 2018 honorees are continuing the fight for fair housing today.

  • Betsy Julian is our 2018 Loving Civil Rights Award recipient.  In 2015, her organization, Inclusive Communities Project, won one of the most important fair housing cases to reach the Supreme Court in years.  The decision ruled that policies which even inadvertently cause racial segregation or negatively impact a protected class – such as when a city concentrates all of its affordable housing in a neighborhood of color (“disparate impact”) – are illegal under the Fair Housing Act.  This landmark ruling will help to fully realize the original goals of the Fair Housing Act to not only prevent individual housing discrimination but also address the decades of systemic discrimination that led to segregated communities across the country–paving the way for more integrated communities that welcome all people.  Ms. Julian will also be this year’s keynote speaker.  Read more about the Inclusive Communities case here.
  • CT Dept. of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein and State Rep. Roland Lemar are the recipients of this year’s Edward M. Kennedy Legislative Advocacy Award.  They are co-chairs of the state’s new Fair Housing Working Group, bipartisan group of legislators, housing policy experts, fair housing advocates (including the Center) and developers formed in September 2017. The goal of the working group is to help remove systemic barriers to fair housing choice that have been in place for decades.  Under the leadership of Commissioner Klein and Rep. Lemar, the working group has already sent multiple proposals to the state’s general assembly aimed at improving accountability and enforcement for fair and affordable housing policy, promoting inclusionary zoning and supporting transit-oriented development.  The group will continue its work and hopes to address more systemic barriers to fair housing choice in the future.
  • Open Communities Alliance (OCA), Crystal Carter, and Tiara Moore are the recipients of one of this year’s Empowering Communities Awards.  In October 2017, they were co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against HUD after it suspended its Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) Rule, which had been adopted in 2016.  The rule was designed to give families with housing choice vouchers greater access to higher-opportunity neighborhoods and promote residential integration.  The previous formula for calculating the value of housing vouchers had “effectively confined low income families to under-resourced neighborhoods by capping rents using a regional ‘average’ rent,” according to OCA.  The new rule was created to provide voucher holders with access to a wider range of housing options outside of segregated areas, by instead using average rents within zip codes to calculate the vouchers’ value.  In December, a federal judge ordered HUD to implement the SAFMR rule as of January 1st of this year.  The Center applauds  this important win, which will promote integration and give low-income families across the country greater access to opportunity. We especially recognize the courage of Ms. Carter and Ms. Moore, voucher holders directly impacted by the new rule, in standing up not only for their own fair housing rights, but for the rights of housing choice voucher holders across the country.
  • The Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library is the other Empowering Communities Award recipient this year.  The HHC provided invaluable assistance to the Center when we were developing our Fair Housing Tour of Hartford, an educational project of the Center that takes participants on a bus tour of Hartford to see the way policies and decisions over the past 100 years created the segregated region we see today.  Without access to the HHC’s treasure trove of Hartford photos, maps, and records, and help from their expert staff, the Center would not have been able to bring this project to life.

We guarantee you’ll leave feeling inspired to keep fighting for the rights of all people to live where they choose, free from discrimination because of who they are.

Crowd of people in a ballroom

Join us May 10th at the Bond Ballroom!

That all sounds great.  But what is there to eat?

This year, we’re excited to be able to offer new menu choices:

  • Flatiron Steak with Demi Glaze
  • Chicken Artichoke
  • Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa
  • Stuffed Portabello Mushroom w/Spinach & Boursin

…All served with warm bread, a mesclun greens salad with poached pears, feta, and balsamic, scalloped potatoes with caramelized onions, grilled asparagus, and in case you’re still hungry, New York cheesecake with cherries & whipped cream.  Yum!  Feel free to let us know about any allergies or dietary restrictions when you register.

A cash bar will be available throughout the event, or you can just wait to take home the House of Wine (good luck!).

 

Learn more about this year’s Loving Dinner and register here by May 4th!  Hurry, seats are filling up fast and tickets won’t be sold at the door!  

More questions about this year’s event, or prefer to register by phone?  Call Letty Ortiz at 860-247-4400.  

A Home to Call Our Own

Stacks of boxes in an office

Packing up our old office at 221 Main Street

It’s moving day!

For nearly 25 years, the Center has worked to ensure that everyone in Connecticut has equal access to the housing of their choice. Now, for the first time, we have a home to call our own!

Today, the Center is moving out of our longtime Hartford office at 221 Main Street and into our very own building at 60 Popieluszko Court (don’t worry – it’s going to take us a while to remember how to spell it, too).

 

The Center's building at 60 Popieluszko Court. A 3-story brick building.

Our new home at 60 Popieluszko Court, Hartford

It may be just around the corner, but this move is a huge change for the Center.  When we moved into our previous office nearly twenty years ago, the Center had a staff of three.  Today, we have a staff of fifteen and reach thousands of Connecticut residents each year.  Our conference room couldn’t fit our entire staff, and we had nowhere to host trainings or community events.  Now, we’ll have the space we need to meet with clients privately, host fair housing and foreclosure prevention classes, and yes, even sit together for those monthly staff meetings!

 

 

We’re proud to make this investment in Hartford’s vibrant Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood and excited to be a part of the ongoing redevelopment of the old Capewell Horse Nail Factory complex.  (Update: thanks to Ken Gosselin from the Hartford Courant for covering the building purchase!).

The new office opens on Monday, April 23rd. Here’s to the next chapter of the Center’s work!

 

Want to see our new home and learn about what’s in store for the Center’s future?  We’ll be hosting an Open House on Thursday, June 7th from 5:30-7:30pm.  Join us!  

 

P.S. – Are you a first-time homebuyer, too?  Download our free Moving Forward Homebuyers’ Guide to learn everything you need to know to buy a home and protect your fair housing and lending rights in the process.

Executive Director on the 50th Anniversary of the FHA in CT Mirror’s Sunday Conversation

The Center’s Executive Director, Erin Kemple, was interviewed for The CT Mirror‘s Sunday Conversation this week, discussing where we are fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Here are a few key quotes from the interview:

“The Fair Housing Act was passed to do two things: One was to outlaw discrimination, and the second was to promote integration. And it’s the promoting integration part that we have not made much headway in. If you look at the statistics, Connecticut is one of the most segregated areas in the country. Bridgeport is number four. When you look at white-Latino segregation, Hartford’s number seven. And all of Connecticut ranks in the top 10 percent for white-black segregation. […]

We have done a study, and it’s on our website, that shows that African-Americans who are high income, African-Americans making over $170,000 a year, are denied mortgages at twice the rate of whites making less than $70,000 dollars a year. So it’s not just about the money. And certainly when we do fair-housing testing, it’s not just about the numbers, and it’s not just about the money. We’re finding consistently that the African-Americans are not quoted the same mortgage rates as white people.  […]

We did some testing where we just had people walk into a bank branch. It was in an all-white neighborhood. A Latina says, ‘I’m on my lunch hour. I just need some information about what kinds of loans you have. Do you have anything in writing?’

‘No, we don’t do loans in this branch. You need to go to this other branch. We don’t have any information here.’

A white tester goes in about a half hour later. They have written information. They have offered to call a loan officer so that she can set up an appointment, and they are encouraging her. […]

We are segregated. We have housing, especially affordable housing, placed where it is because of decisions that were made by the government, by local governments, federal and state governments. So they are the ones that have to fix this, and this is why the zoning [legislation] that the governor was talking about [Wednesday at a celebration of the 50th anniversary] is so important. It is putting the onus back on the cities and the towns to open up their communities to people other than the people who have always lived there or who live there now.”

 

Read the rest of Erin Kemple’s interview with The CT Mirror here.

Special thanks to Mark Pazniokas from The CT Mirror for taking the time to chat with Erin.

Governor Malloy Proclaims April 11th “Fair Housing Day”

Executive Director Erin Kemple accepting “Fair Housing Day” Proclamation from Governor Malloy

In front of a small and dedicated bipartisan group of legislators, state officials, and fair housing advocates, Governor Dannel Malloy proclaimed today, April 11th, to be recognized as “Fair Housing Day” in the state of Connecticut. The proclamation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.   Upon accepting the proclamation, the Center’s Executive Director, Erin Kemple, explained that the discriminatory practices and policies of our past continue today, pointing out that “high income families of color are denied mortgages at twice the rate of low income white families.”  She also noted that discriminatory practices in housing today are typically not as overt as they were at the time of the FHA’s passage, but are now often cloaked in different dress. 

 

The Governor answered questions from the press about HB 5045, the bill he proposed this year that would promote housing choice and ensure local accountability by attaching municipalities’ access to discretionary funds to their compliance with fair housing and inclusionary zoning regulations.  Some reporters questioned whether attaching zoning to discretionary funding is going to be a “hard sell” for lawmakers. Governor Malloy explained that municipalities in Connecticut have had fifty years to do the right thing, and the requirements of C.G.S. 8-2 have been in place for 27 years. It is time for communities to follow the requirements. The Center provided written testimony in support of H.B. 5045.

 

Fifty years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, Connecticut remains one the most segregated states in our country. Ending housing segregation and enforcing the Fair Housing Act is the work we are all proud to do at the Center. Today reminds us all that there is still so much work to do.

 

Read the Governor’s press release about today’s event here.

Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

Until the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 – fifty years ago this month – the bill that would become the Fair Housing Act was the most filibustered bill in history.  But with the nation rocked by widespread riots in the wake of the civil rights leader’s murder, Congress spent seven days engaged in political maneuverings that prevented the legislation from being debated, smuggling drafts out of the Capitol to prevent theft or alteration, and lobbying Senators from the South before finally passing the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) on April 11th, 1968.

The Fair Housing Act was designed to do two things.  First, it outlawed discriminatory actions which prevented individuals who were members of a protected class from obtaining housing, mortgages or insurance.  Second, it tasked federal, state, and local governments with promoting integration by requiring them to affirmatively further fair housing in their programs.

Today, there are fewer overt acts of discrimination like those seen when the FHA was passed.  Instead housing discrimination is now cloaked in different dress.  Newspapers no longer separate their advertisements into “Colored” and “White.”  Instead, housing providers refuse to rent to people with housing subsidies, a practice that disproportionately impacts people of color (while this type of discrimination is illegal in Connecticut, the Center still receives hundreds of these complaints each year). Or they impose different requirements and rules on applicants of color compared with White applicants.Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary logo

Laws no longer force individuals labelled “mentally feeble” or people with physical disabilities to be institutionalized; however, stereotypes and unfounded fears lead to the shuttering of group homes or their confinement to high poverty urban areas.  Affordable housing for people who are elderly, who in Connecticut are 87% White, is typically welcomed, while similar housing for families with children (more than 60% of CT residents under 18 are African-American or Latino) is often characterized as damaging to the “character of the neighborhood” and protested at public hearings.

As a result of these subtle acts of discrimination, there has been little progress on erasing the segregation caused by past overt acts of discrimination by federal, state, and local governments.  While lawsuits have made some progress in desegregating the Hartford area’s schools, little progress has been made in desegregating neighborhoods.  The movement to end unnecessary institutionalization of people with disabilities has reduced that practice, but efforts to ensure all neighborhoods welcome people with mental health diagnoses are barely off the ground.  Cities and towns still fail to zone for affordable housing, leaving high-poverty areas to absorb and serve the needs of still more people who are poor.  And there is more sympathy for millennials who are priced out of desirable housing markets than families with children who pay upwards of 40% of their income for housing.

Yes, we have made progress since 1968, but we will not have a truly integrated society until all neighborhoods welcome all people.

Join us in marking the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and recognizing those who continue the fight for fair housing today at our upcoming Loving Civil Rights Award Dinner.

Read more about the long and bumpy road to the passage of the Fair Housing Act and its aftermath.

Learn more about the history of fair housing at the Center’s display this month at the Legislative Office Building.

 

For a closer look at the seven days between MLK’s assassination and the passage of the Fair Housing Act, check out this short documentary from the National Fair Housing Alliance:

 

A version of this post was originally published as a guest post on the Partnership for Strong Communities blog.

New Display at the Capitol Highlights Fair Housing Milestones

Posters about Fair Housing on the wall at the Legislative Office Building

Every April, in honor of Fair Housing Month, the Center curates a display about fair housing for Connecticut’s Legislative Office Building to educate legislators, staff, and the many advocates, students, and visitors who pass through the Capitol buildings on a daily basis.

 

 

Because 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we decided that this year’s display would focus on the significance of this seminal piece of legislation, highlighting the events that led to its passage as well as some events that have occurred since Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law back on April 11, 1968.  We created a timeline covering 100 years of history to explain how policies and seminal court decisions created and maintain the segregated neighborhoods we see across Connecticut today.

 

For example, you may know that the 1944 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (better known as the G.I. Bill) helped to create the largest middle class in the nation’s history after World War II.  This legislation helped millions of returning veterans attend college and buy homes, building wealth that would be passed down to future generations.

Posters about fair housing history at the Legislative Office Building concourse

However, many people don’t realize that African-American veterans were left out of the bill’s most powerful benefits.  While White veterans took advantage of new low-interest mortgage loans to buy homes in the growing suburbs, many Black veterans were unable to obtain mortgages because banks wouldn’t lend to them or underwrite loans in non-white neighborhoods, a practice called redlining that was backed by the federal government.  In fact, banks even refused to lend to White families who wanted to buy homes in diverse neighborhoods.  Black veterans who could obtain mortgages were often blocked from buying in white neighborhoods because of racially restrictive covenants, racial steering by real estate agents, and other discriminatory practices.

The rest of the display highlights similar policies, practices, and court cases that shaped neighborhoods in Connecticut and across the country – for better or for worse – all the way up to the present day.

 

Congratulations to our 2018 Student Poster Contest Finalists!

The display also includes a look at the future of fair housing from the finalists of our annual Fair Housing Poster Contest. Students in 6th – 12th grades from schools across Connecticut submitted artwork that reflected this year’s theme: Choice. Mobility. Equity.  Their artwork is fantastic!   This year’s finalists are:6 colorful posters, finalists in the Fair Housing poster contest, hanging on a wall in the Legislative Office Building

Joe Barberi, Norwich Technical High School

Ashley Edmund, Norwich Technical High School

Dewlys Maldondo, Hartford Trinity College Academy

Outdam Nuon, Norwich Technical High School

Marysabel Rivera, Connecticut River Academy

Yeji Yang, Northwest Catholic High School

 

The winners will be announced at the end of April.

The Center’s Fair Housing Month display can be viewed on the Lower Concourse between the Capitol and the LOB now through April 13th.  If you find yourself in Hartford, we encourage you to stop by and take a look!

Want more Fair Housing history?  Check out the National Fair Housing Alliance’s interactive 50th anniversary timeline of the Fair Housing Act.  Interested in what happened closer to home?  Find out about the Center’s Fair Housing Tour of Hartford!

 

Join us for the 39th Annual FHACt Conference!

Fair Housing Association of CT LogoThe Fair Housing Association of Connecticut (FHACt)’s 39th annual Fair Housing Conference is set for April 26th in Rocky Hill.  The 2018 Conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, discuss the issues of the day, and reinvigorate us as we look ahead.

The event will include a screening of “A House Divided,” the episode from last year’s acclaimed America Divided series exploring housing discrimination, segregation, and fair housing enforcement in New York City.   Following the screening, the Center will present on some of our recent fair housing testing results and other research to reveal what these issues look like here in Connecticut. The Center will then join staff from the CT Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) in facilitating an interactive exercise on using the concepts from “A House Divided” to spur action.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Debby Goldberg from the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the day will conclude with a presentation on housing for formerly incarcerated people by “The Real Women of Orange is the New Black.”  It should be a powerful day of learning and inspiration for all of us who are committed to fair housing in Connecticut.

We hope to see you on April 26th!

Click here to see full details and learn how to register for the 2018 FHACt Conference.

 

An Accidental Jump into New London’s History

When I first met Laura Natusch, the Executive Director of New London Landmarks, I did not expect that agreeing to collaborate on a fair housing history project would literally take me all over the city of New London, Connecticut. We have done important (and fun) work

Flyer for educational event on New London's Lost Neighborhood, set for April 10th at 7pm at Mount Moriah Church in New London, CT.uncovering missing streets, and unearthing historic pictures and maps of this small Whaling City that rests on Long Island Sound.

In 1962, the City of New London passed a referendum to begin the Winthrop Cove Urban Renewal project. While some urban renewal projects are well documented and widely known, this specific slum removal plan is not. And because every untold story needs a voice, Laura and I went exploring to figure out how the built environment changed as a result of the Winthrop Cove Urban Renewal project, and how discrimination played a role.

1962 New London City Council meeting minutes

1962 New London City Council minutes.

The project found us deep in the dusty stacks of New London’s City Hall and reviewing months of microfilm at the City library. We have read old City Council minutes and walked the City to figure out exactly where the project took place and imagine what was lost. Volunteers and retired librarians have stepped in to help us, and every new finding feels kind of like the excitement of anticipating the next firework during a fourth of July display.

We can’t wait to share what we have learned and uncovered!

Please join the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, New London Landmarks, and our guest speaker Lonnie Braxton, former President of the NAACP New London Chapter, for a free educational event that will tell the story of how decades of discriminatory policies led to the divestment of one neighborhood, and how “urban renewal” removed it from the maps:

Discrimination, Urban Renewal, and New London’s Lost Neighborhood

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mount Moriah Church, 22 Moore Ave. New London, CT

7:00pm – 8:30pm

Refreshments from Washington Street Coffee House will be provided!

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