Housing Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6138

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING RESIDENCE MOBILITY COUNSELING FOR SUBSIDIZED HOUSING.

Vote Date:

3/11/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/3/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Housing Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Families living within an impoverished neighborhood may have difficulty climbing out of poverty. Mobility counseling offers information and resources to individuals seeking relocation to communities with better opportunities, such as those with high performing schools. This bill allows the Department of Housing to develop a program, which expands public housing opportunities for low and extremely low-income persons.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None expressed.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Representative Bruce Morris, Chairman, Black and Puerto Rican Caucus strongly support the bill. The purpose of subsidized housing is to promote non-discrimination and ensure fair and equal housing opportunities for all. This bill would require all public housing authorities in Connecticut to provide mobility counseling for their clients.

Subira Gordon, Legislative Analyst, African American Affairs Commission supports the bill. Racial segregation in Connecticut is at an all-time high. Minorities are living in cities with little economic opportunities, poor school systems, and lack access to public transportation. Housing subsidies play and important role in helping families experiencing poverty, one method is through mobility counseling. Individuals should have all the information necessary to make choices as to where they would like to live. Currently mobility counselling is offered in the state, however the Commission believes the program should be revisited and changes made in order to make mobility counselling more comprehensive; ultimately helping families move out of poverty.

Orlando J. Rodriguez, Associate Legislative Analyst, Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission supports the bill. “LPRAC supports legislation to increase availability of low-cost family housing throughout the state, and especially outside of urban areas and in high performing school districts.”

Erin Boggs, Executive Director, Open Communities Alliance supports of the bill. This bill is a great first step in exploring mobility counseling. It is working in many places around the country, providing people with complete information to find housing in thriving areas. “In Baltimore, over 4000 families have moved with the help of mobility counseling and are seeing differences in health, education and employment outcomes”. Connecticut has a mobility-counseling program funded by the Department of Housing. This program needs better funding and to eventually expanded to housing authorities outside of the Department of Housing.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Cathy K. Forcier opposes the bill. Local housing authorities do not have the staffing to provide statewide or national mobility counseling. “If the intention is to have housing authorities educate applicants on all the housing opportunities available at that housing authority I believe that is already being done.”

Reported by: Maryann Pease

Date: 3/25/15