Workshop Session One
A. Health and Housing: Learning From Each Other
Learn from successful collaborations that resulted in equitable health and housing solutions for Connecticut communities. Speakers will describe how they overcame barriers and worked together step-by-step to develop the Vita Health & Wellness District in Stamford and the Medical Respite Program at Columbus House. Hear the lessons they learned from each other and their best advice to other communities looking to integrate housing and health. Learn about national and local resources that can help and other projects in the pipeline for Connecticut. We encourage you to bring your questions and your challenges for our panel of experts.
B. Racial Equity and Housing: Discovering Your Role in Disrupting Racial Inequality
We all have a role—experience a conversation about challenging and empowering ourselves to undo structural racism, including practical methods to bring a more race conscious lens to our work in affordable housing. Participants will learn about the historical context and causes of racial inequities in housing, as well as specific behaviors, actions, and strategies at the individual and organizational level that can disrupt racial inequity. Presenters will share examples of their work in developing a framework for Racial Equity within the homeless services sector and discuss how these efforts can be applied by stakeholders working on affordable housing.
C. Transportation and Housing: A Formula for Economic Development
Connecticut’s inadequate transit system has created a major barrier to solving our region’s housing crisis. What are the systemic issues at the root of transit insufficiencies? How does poor transit service impact housing availability and the viability of our communities? How can housing advocates support improvements that will provide better transit – and more housing choices– for millennials and other members of the workforce being left behind?
Workshop Session Two
D. Connecticut News: Hear From the State’s Affordable Housing Funders
The Department of Housing (DOH) and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) have collectively invested over $1 billion in affordable housing since 2011. DOH and CHFA, are the essential state agencies for anyone interested in developing or supporting affordable housing preservation and development in Connecticut. Both have new leadership teams, hear first-hand about anticipated changes of focus or direction under the new administration. HUD’s Hartford Field Office provides guidance and support for federally funded affordable housing projects and programs administered directly or by the state or local agencies. HUD’s Hartford Field Office provides guidance and support for federally funded affordable housing projects and programs administered directly or through the state or municipal agencies. The USDA’s Rural Development office for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island provides a variety of loans and grants for both single family and multi-family properties. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLBB) continues to be a critical funding source for large and small affordable housing projects in Connecticut and the rest of New England through its competitive Affordable Housing Program and other financing programs. This panel will highlight upcoming funding opportunities and recent successful projects and identify policies, priorities and trends that potential applicants should keep in mind.
E. Solving Problems Together: Roundtable of Legislative Leaders and Affordable Housing Professionals
Roundtable discussion on how Connecticut can build on its success and continue to increase access to affordable housing through either preservation or development. Legislators and representatives from the affordable housing industry will discuss both the challenges and potential solutions to address what is an affordable housing crisis, not just in Connecticut but across the nation. Likely topics will include, but not be limited to: the Zoning Enabling Act (CGS 8-2); Housing Authority Jurisdiction; Inclusionary Zoning and how to maximize leveraging public funding for affordable housing.
No Workshop PowerPoint
Workshop Presenter Bios
F. The Sky is Falling!: Adapting Housing to Climate Change, Rising Seas, and Rain Bombs for a Resilient Future
Hear about climate change from the Connecticut Department of Housing’s (DOH) earth scientist, Dr. Rebecca French. This very real issue will have significant impacts on Connecticut from stormwater challenges due to heavy rainfall events – the ‘rain bombs’ – to planning for up to two feet of sea level rise by the year 2050 under new guidance from CT DEEP based on best available science. Learn from Dr. French and DOH Deputy Commissioner, Shanté Hanks about using elevation, floodproofing, and green and grey infrastructure to adapt housing projects and vulnerable communities to flooding and a changing climate. The DOH has relocated, elevated, or floodproofed single and multi-family homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy across the Connecticut coast. The department has funded green infrastructure projects like the 200 bioswales in the City of New Haven to absorb stormwater and reduce street flooding and will construct a neighborhood-scale flood protection project as part of Resilient Bridgeport. The workshop concludes with a conversation with Dr. French, Deputy Commissioner Hanks, and John Truscinski from the University of Connecticut’s Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) on envisioning a resilient future for our state. The panel will discuss Resilient Connecticut, the first regional coastal resilience plan put out by the State through the DOH National Disaster Resilience program in partnership with CIRCA. The project includes working with municipalities and councils of governments to create regional, local, and site specific plans implementing a resilient transit oriented development strategy for the state, informed by locally-scaled flood risk modeling.
Workshop Presenter Bios