Affordable Housing, Community Development

Working Class Families Need Affordable Housing and Mobility


More than 100 educators, housing advocates, child development specialists and community development experts gathered at the Lyceum on May 21 for the 4th IForum of 2015, which focused on housing choice and mobility. Those in attendance got a chance to hear researchers and mobility program directors support greater efforts to allow working class families a wider spectrum of housing choices in high-resource school districts and municipalities with abundant services and jobs. The IForum was produced by The Partnership for Strong Communities and the Open Communities Alliance.

Click here to view the slideshow. 

Alison Shuman, executive director of the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, described a wide-ranging, detailed program of services that help low-income families move to high opportunity areas in the Baltimore region. The results in Baltimore have been significant, with many families not only seeing enhanced school performance by their children, but parents exposed to more and better job opportunities. Sarah Vocca, CREC Director of Data Analysis, Research and Technology, and Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, of CT Voices for Children, described their own research – and that done by others – that clearly indicates that children who can live in high-resource school districts do better in the classroom, while those who must live in overburdened districts, where class sizes are larger and teachers are less experienced – or who must involuntarily move during the school year – achieve less and frequently fall behind.

The audience also heard from Bildade Augustin, a Wethersfield parent, eloquently explain how working class families, including hers, must have access to an affordable home that also provides good schools and transportation to jobs, healthcare and other resources. Elaine Zimmerman, executive director of the CT Commission on Children, called for “two generation” solutions that serve both parents and children.

Materials and other information about the forum:


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