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2018 Reaching Home Housing Awards: Commissioner Klein

Evonne M. Klein is the first Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing, the lead state agency on housing matters.  Appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2013, the department provides funding for programs and services dedicated to ending homelessness and promoting affordable housing development.

Under her leadership the department has made unprecedented progress in the preservation, rehabilitation, and creation of affordable housing across the state.  With the expansion of the agency’s development programs, a new pipeline of affordable housing has been created.  Together, with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the department has invested more than One Billion Dollars in affordable housing development.  As the first state to effectively end chronic veteran homelessness, and being one of only three states certified by the federal government as having effectively ended veteran homelessness, Connecticut is regarded as a national leader in ending homelessness.

The department is also a leader in zoning reform.  Working in close collaboration with various stakeholders, the department has helped draft legislative proposals aimed at reforming the state’s antiquated zoning laws and expanding access to housing choice.

Klein serves as the Chair of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Board of Directors, as a board member of the Capitol Region Development Authority, and is a member of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change.  Prior to her appointment as Commissioner of Housing, Klein served three terms as First Selectman in the Town of Darien and one term as a Selectman.