Established in 1943, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is the oldest civil rights organization in the country. Their goal is to eliminate discrimination through civil and human rights law enforcement. This week CTLN Opinion+ had a conversation regarding housing discrimination with Tanya A. Hughes, executive director of CHRO.
Connecticut has a strong history of housing and real estate discrimination. The Fair Housing Act located in Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination in any form of homeownership and lease based on race, origin, sex, and religion. But the enforcement of the act was lackluster and cities like New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport remained redline areas — still segregated areas of poverty today.
While this problem is prevalent throughout the country, it is especially noticeable in the state due to the high cost of living. According to a Realtor.com study, Connecticut is 6th in the nation for housing costs with the sales of single-family homes up by two-thirds from 2019.
Hughes and the team at the Commission have several groups working to desegregate the housing market within the state including the sponsoring of legislation SB 1024, a bill aimed to desegregate housing, and HB 6611, the open communities fair share bill will address zone reform.
“In order to address the continued issues, we need zoning reform in order to provide more affordable housing,” Executive Director Hughes said. CHRO is also addressing other issues within housing like access to fresh produce, improving health outcomes, and providing safe open spaces like parks.
Along with housing discrimination CHRO addresses other issues regarding civil human rights and opportunities including workplace discrimination.
The important thing is to recognize it and file a complaint with CHRO. Along with advocacy they provide legal resources and education about your rights. As one of the oldest public service organizations in the state, the work that CHRO is doing is vital to establish equal opportunity and seek justice.
For more information please look at the links below
How to recognize discrimination
To file a discrimination complaint
Housing discrimination Unit
More information about HB6611
Language for HB6611
More information about SB1024
Language for SB1024
Photo Credit: CT Insider: https://www.ctinsider.com/local/ctpost/article/Harassed-at-Work-For-women-across-CT-abuse-is-14557378.php