Affordable Housing, Community Development

Public Housing Revitalization IForum Highlights Resources, Communication

 

Over 100 gathered at the Lyceum on Tuesday, April 21 to hear about the latest information about the revitalization of state-sponsored housing. Speakers representing funders, residents, public housing authorities and technical assistance providers offered an overview of work currently underway and insights on redevelopment. Communication among stakeholders – property owners/public housing authorities, residents, funding agencies, towns – was identified as a key aspect of successful redevelopment projects.

The first part of the forum was dedicated to a panel discussion about existing resources and technical assistance for those undertaking redevelopments of state-sponsored housing.  Lynn Koroser-Crane of the CT Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) provided an overview of the state’s stock of state-funded public housing and the Governor and legislature’s commitment to revitalizing public housing. She also discussed the capital plan for that revitalization effort and Nick Lundgren of the CT Department of Housing (DOH) talked about ways that redevelopments can be funded and the technical assistance that CHFA and DOH are providing.

Click here to view the photos.

Cathy Branch Stebbins of CONN-NAHRO and Susan Harkett-Turley from the Housing Education and Resource Center (HERC) discussed the trainings that they are providing to public housing authorities regarding newly enacted resident participation laws. Daisy Franklin, representing the Publicly-Assisted Housing Resident Network (PHRN), discussed PHRN’s work to provide peer-to-peer training to residents about their rights under the new resident participation laws.

Betsy Crum of the CT Housing Coalition then discussed some of the feedback and insights she has learned by working with public housing authorities and owner of state-sponsored housing through  CHC’s Housing Academy.

The second portion of the forum was dedicated to a panel discussion about the challenges and successes housing authorities have had when engaging their residents around revitalization. Neil Griffin of the Housing Authority of the Town of Glastonbury, Kelly McDermott of the East Hartford Housing Authority and Carol Martin of the Westport Housing Authority and Fairfield Housing Authority spoke to the need to take the time to involve residents of properties being redeveloped.

Each of them were honest about the effort it took to build productive relationships between housing authorities and residents and the benefits of building those relationships. Connecting with residents early and often throughout redevelopment allowed housing authorities to be more responsive to the needs of residents and incorporate those needs into the revitalization. 

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