It has come to the New Britain Journal's attention that State Sen. Saud Anwar of the 3rd District has introduced a bill in the State Legislature. Senate Bill 194 will establish a right to housing, including housing affordability, rehousing assistance for people who become homeless, and protections from housing loss. The problem is that this bill further marginalizes the landlord occupation and is supported by State Sen. Rick Lopes, who chairs the Housing Committee at the State Capitol.
While S.B. 194 would establish a right for every resident in the state to obtain adequate housing, this bill would require municipalities to consider the right to housing and other mandates found in the Senate bill, which could overwhelm local public housing authorities that provide Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.
As it currently is drafted, the intent of this bill is faulty. It is written vaguely and potentially opens the door to "burdensome unfunded mandates," according to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.
That then begs the question, as New Britain has many multifamily homes and apartment complexes, how could our city even accommodate and enforce such a mandate? How can other towns with fewer resources than New Britain even fathom such requirements?