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CT Eviction Prevention Fund stops nearly 3,800 evictions in its first year

Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno discussing the one year anniversary of the state's Eviction Prevention Fund, which helps residents in court for eviction by paying their unpaid rent at the Legal Assistance Association in New Haven January 05, 22024
Abigail Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno discussing the one year anniversary of the state's Eviction Prevention Fund, which helps residents in court for eviction by paying their unpaid rent at the Legal Assistance Association in New Haven January 05, 22024

January marks one year since Connecticut’s Eviction Prevention Fund was established.

The fund provides financial assistance to tenants who are facing eviction in court. The money is used to help them pay their arrears.

The program also works with landlords to resolve tenant nonpayment, according to state Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno.

“What we’re doing is reaching out to our landlords because this is not just landlords against tenants, this is about all of us working together,” Mosquera-Bruno said. “We have been talking to the landlords association.”

Nearly $20 million has been distributed from the fund within the last year to help prevent families from being evicted or becoming homeless.

In some instances, the program helps move residents to better suited apartments.

“We have so far helped 3,737 families, whether they stay in those apartments or help them move to another place where they can actually afford the rents,” Mosquera-Bruno said.

Each household can receive $18,500 to go toward unpaid rent. Families can only utilize the fund once.

A separate fund helps with relocation efforts for tenants whose landlords still wish to proceed with the eviction.

UniteCT’s Moving Assistance Programhas helped 606 households secure and pay the upfront costs for new housing.

These tenants had landlords that would not participate in the Eviction Prevention Fund, and were given access to a security deposit assistance for a new unit, according to UniteCT’s Director of Housing Innovation Marina Marmolejo.

When the program began, it was funded with $12.5 million in state and federal dollars and provided up to $5,000 per household. As interest and demand for the fund grew, more money was appropriated, Marmolejo 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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