Shannon Houston, Communications and Development Coordinator at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.
Just in time for the busiest moving season of the year, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center released a new statewide edition of its popular Moving Forward Renters’ Guide this summer. This comprehensive free guide aims to help readers prioritize their housing needs, explore new neighborhoods, towns, or types of housing, and search for and move into new rental homes. Throughout the guide, fair housing rights are highlighted to help readers recognize and address housing discrimination – still all too common in Connecticut - if they experience it during their search.
The Center designed the guide after years of research that revealed a lack of housing mobility for low-income residents across Connecticut, particularly those in urban areas. Many residents would like to move, but often face obstacles such as a lack of knowledge about schools or services in a new town or neighborhood, confusion about housing voucher application processes, difficulty finding apartment listings, and housing discrimination that prevents people from accessing the housing of their choice. Other residents may want to stay in their current neighborhood, but aren’t sure how to find rentals that meet their family’s specific needs.
The consequences of people feeling “stuck” can be serious. More than fifty years of academic research confirms that the location where families live affects both their life opportunities and the quality of that life. Families can benefit when they move to areas with access to jobs, transportation, good schools, recreational space, and other community assets. The Moving Forward Guide promotes the ability of all Connecticut residents to live where they choose.
The Guide (available in English and Spanish, in print and online) provides information on a wide range of housing-related topics, including:
- Understanding and Protecting Your Fair Housing Rights
- Organizing Priorities
- Exploring New Neighborhoods and Towns
- Subsidized vs. Market-Rate Housing
- Budgeting and Financial Tools
- Working with Landlords and Visiting Apartments
- Moving in and Moving Out
- Recognizing & Reporting Discrimination
- Additional Resources in Connecticut
The Moving Forward Guide was first piloted in the greater Hartford region with support from HUD, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the City of Hartford. After distributing the greater Hartford edition to nearly 4,000 residents throughout 2015 and early 2016 and receiving positive feedback from individuals and community service providers alike, the Center decided to expand the guide with resources for all Connecticut residents.
Free copies of the Moving Forward Renters’ Guide can be ordered online or through contacting the Connecticut Fair Housing Center at (860) 856-5496 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Partnership for Strong Communities also has copies of the Guide available for distribution in the Lyceum lobby.
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