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State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

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Senators Anwar, McCrory Join Advocates to Introduce, Discuss Legislation Seeking to Desegregate Housing

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Senators Anwar and McCrory address an assembled crowd in front of the State Capitol Tuesday, July 14.


HARTFORD – Today, State Senators Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) and Douglas McCrory (D-Hartford) joined speakers in front of the State Capitol including House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, UConn Law Real Property Law Chair Sara Bronin, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Executive Director and CEO Joe DeLong, Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association Treasurer Khara Dodds, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving President Jay Williams and Urban Hope Refuge Church Senior Pastor A.J. Johnson to advocate for legislation that would seek to desegregate housing policy in Connecticut. Citing stringent, unnecessary zoning and housing regulations existing today that forcibly segregate communities around the state, the legislators discussed means to improve upon them, including a draft bill they hope to see discussed and passed in an upcoming special session.

"This is an issue that's not new to the state of Connecticut. People have been working on and championing this legislation for some time. But when people bring up bills to change this, those bills die," said Sen. Anwar. "I've seen these issues die. This is proactive legislation because we have all heard the challenges our communities face. Connecticut is one of the most segregated states in this region where 50 percent of all African American and 50 percent of all Hispanic community members live on 2 percent of the land in this state. You don't sustain a community that way. Two-thirds of them live in low-opportunity areas, and the probability of them coming out of a low-opportunity area into a high-opportunity area is the lowest in the region. Housing is the center of all issues. If you are looking at comprehensive reform, just police reform will be symptomatic treatment. We need a therapeutic strategy to undo 400 years of challenges and strategic decisions to segregate communities by design."

"I've lived in Hartford, grew up in Hartford, and at one point, my parents talked about moving to a suburban community," said Sen. McCrory. "The reality was, they were not going to be able to move to that community even if they wanted to. These policies are systematic not only in Connecticut but all around the United States. They were done by government officials; they're government policies. If we want to change them, we need government officials to change government policies. Some of the policies we are working on address what needs to be changed, and I look forward to working on these policies in future sessions."

Senators Anwar and McCrory spoke today as a working draft of "An Act Concerning Legislation for Special Session Concerning Zoning and Affordable Housing" was released, the result of efforts to improve housing opportunities for all Connecticut residents. Among many other parts of the extensive 49-page bill, it seeks to reduce zoning regulations to encourage more development of multi-family homes and buildings, combat regulations that reinforce patterns of segregation, create more inclusive communities across the state and promote and allow housing that can be occupied by all residents. By addressing zoning and planning regulations in a means to improve development opportunities across the state, this legislation seeks to provide more equal opportunities for all people in Connecticut.

A full copy of the drafted legislation can be accessed at this link.


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Senate Photo

Senators Anwar and McCrory address an assembled crowd in front of the State Capitol Tuesday, July 14.


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