Closing the Housing Gap

by | Apr 21, 2023

Jason Rinaldi, Western Connecticut Manager for the Housing Collective, landlords, investors, and community leaders gathered in the basement of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury to enjoy breakfast and discuss the ever-widening gap between low-to-medium wage earners and the availability of affordable housing in Connecticut.

Jason is on a mission to create a larger pool of housing inventory and to help to pre-qualify people who are on The Housing Collective’s 3,000+ tenant waiting list. Community Partners in Action’s Executive Director Beth Hines shared the specific housing needs of people returning home to Connecticut after incarceration.

“Unfortunately, people are often rejected from private, public, and subsidized housing based on their criminal record, even if the convictions were many years’ ago,” said Beth. “Our participants report being regularly denied housing, three, six and even ten plus years out of prison.”

The primary concern expressed from a landlord perspective was resolving tenant issues (regardless of their background) and ensuring ongoing rental income when and if problems arise.

Ralph Monti is a long-time partner of Community Partners in Action who has shown a commitment to renting to CPA participants. Ralph provides 60 rentable apartments and is always responsive to tenants’ needs. Throughout the pandemic Ralph ensured that no tenant in his apartments was evicted or moved and he didn’t receive any assistance from the State.

The Prison Policy initiative estimates formerly incarcerated individuals face homelessness at a rate nearly seven times higher than the general public. Preserving human dignity is integral to CPA’s mission and housing is a core element to ensuring everyone has a chance at securing a place called home.

Almost 60 people attended the Breakfast for Landlords including the United Way of Greater Waterbury who provided the funding for the event.

To learn more about CPA’s 2023 Advocacy Priorities, link here.