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CT receives $4.5 million to pair Section 8 residents with 'opportunity neighborhoods'

$4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will will be used by Connecticut to employ about 10 caseworkers who will pair Section 8 residents with neighborhoods that better meet their long-term goals.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
Connecticut's Department of Housing will employ about 10 caseworkers who will pair Section 8 residents with neighborhoods that better meet their long-term goals.

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The Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) received $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to increase housing options for Section 8 recipients.

DOH will use the funds to employ about 10 caseworkers who will pair Section 8 residents with neighborhoods that better meet their long-term goals.

The funds will be distributed in increments of $900,000 over the next five years, DOH Director of Individual and Family Support Programs Steve DiLella said.

The current Section 8 program allows families to select homes in various neighborhoods, however according to DiLella, residents tend to stay in urban centers.

“This is a program that will assist people who have housing choice vouchers, who live in high poverty, low opportunity areas, to potentially move to high opportunity, low poverty areas,” DiLella said.

The vouchers are part of the housing mobility-related services funding. It is specifically designed to help families with children find housing in what the state considers “opportunity neighborhoods.” In Connecticut, census tract data contributes to a state-organized map of opportunity for each neighborhood.

Those neighborhoods tend to have low crime rates, highly accredited schools and more job opportunities.

As a similar program already exists in the Hartford area. The new caseworkers will focus on Bridgeport and New Haven, DiLella said.

“Every parent knows the value of providing a safe and secure place for their child to call home. Stability at home helps promote their future success – in school and onwards,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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