Almost 90% of housing built by the government for Connecticut’s most vulnerable children is in areas that are poverty-concentrated with under-resourced schools. This makes no sense.
Open Communities Alliance has seen progress over the last three years as we have successfully advocated for changes in state and federal policy that promote integration, housing choice, and access to opportunity, including in areas with fully-resourced schools. But there is so much more to be done. We have now come to a critical crossroads and we need you to help us take our mission to the next level.
Before the election of Donald Trump the federal government had given a green light to transformative policies that were already having an influence on government priorities here in Connecticut. These policies focused on “affirmatively furthering fair housing,” that is, consciously reversing decades of intentional government policies that created our segregated housing landscape. These changes have the potential to address exclusionary zoning, public housing siting, and subsidized housing investment in a way that creates choices for lower income families while avoiding recreating pockets of concentrated poverty.
By addressing segregation and creating greater housing choices for low income families of color and many other families who rely on affordable housing options (single parents – especially women, people with disabilities, and lower and mid-wage workers) we can create a more just and economically vibrant Connecticut and champion a national model for diversity and inclusion.
Together, we can also revolutionize and equalize public education in Connecticut. Almost everywhere in the state where you live dictates where your children go to school, and there are deep resource divides between school districts. A more balanced housing policy, in which every town takes on an appropriate share of affordable housing, will allow all districts to deliver a high quality educational experience to all students. Open Communities Alliance is working to develop such a plan.
How will Open Communities Alliance help? How can YOU help?
(1) You can help us be the voice for thousands of families.
Families who want greater choices in where they live. We are working with real families facing serious obstacles. Some would like to stay in their struggling neighborhoods – and our work will help them – but many would like to move. We are laser-focused on ensuring choices.
(2) You can help us implement market-based policies to take on exclusionary zoning.
We are working with national partners like the National Housing Trust and respected local institutions like Yale Law School to leverage resources that will create to-scale, attractive, mixed-income housing generating open communities all across the state.
(3) You can help us insulate Connecticut from the rollback of housing civil rights at the federal level.
Now more than ever it is critical for Connecticut to step forward as a model for inclusiveness and sound housing policy. While protecting our precious housing resources and vulnerable populations, we need to fight the knee-jerk reaction to freeze progress on civil rights in the face of adversity.
(4) You can help us spread the word that HOUSING POLICY = SCHOOL POLICY.
Connecticut is home to some remarkable legal decisions about school segregation and the need to equalize school funding. These decisions are critically important, but, alone, they cannot address the fact that at the heart of school segregation and inequality is some of the deepest residential segregation in the country. Addressing residential segregation and the resultant inequities in education and beyond is central to OCA’s mission.
(5) You can help us hold the Trump administration accountable.
Many people in Connecticut may not realize that OCA is part of a strong coalition of civil rights groups across the country including the NAACP LDF, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, and the ACLU, that together develops and submits critical comments on developing federal policy. Over the last few years we have contributed to numerous letters to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sharing recommendations that are often incorporated into final rules. This kind of national advocacy will be all the more critical over the next four years.
We need you! Please consider a generous gift. Here is how you can donate:
- Donate through our website below, or
- Send us a check:
As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations to Open Communities Alliance are tax deductible.
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