Hartford Foundation Awards $175,000 in Grants to Support Housing and Homeless Prevention Policy and Advocacy Efforts
Over the past two years, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has supported nonprofit organizations advocating to increase access to affordable housing and prevent homelessness by awarding seventeen grants totaling more than $400,000. For example, Open Communities Alliance received two grants to build Growing Together CT, a statewide effort focused on “Fair Share” legislation to reform zoning policies and allow for more housing choice among low income families.
The Foundation is pleased to announce its third round of grants supporting state and/or municipal advocacy aimed at addressing homelessness and creating access to more affordable, stable, and higher quality housing for residents of color, low-income residents, and/or residents experiencing other housing barriers (such as returning citizens). Seven nonprofits have been awarded grants totaling $175,000. Several were awarded funds to continue work from previous rounds; others are receiving housing advocacy grants for the first time.
“The Hartford Foundation recognizes that policy and advocacy are essential to making meaningful systems change to meet the substantial housing needs of underserved populations,” said Hartford Foundation Community Investment Officer Cynthia Wills. “We are proud to continue our support for community-based advocacy, particularly those efforts that engage residents with lived experience.”
Through its work, the Foundation has seen how the public policy ecosystem relies upon a variety of voices; the combined contributions of these different entities ultimately shape public policy that more closely represents the community. The Foundation chose this as its first funding opportunity for policy-related activities since addressing inequitable housing policy is key to supporting social and economic mobility of Black and Latine residents.
The seven projects each awarded $25,000 grants this year include:
The Arc of Connecticut will advocate for affordable housing options for the disability/IDD population including increases in the state’s affordable housing inventory, changes to existing statues, ensuring fair share housing is implemented statewide, and that developers include affordable housing in their plans for multi-family housing.
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness will be engaged in state-level advocacy to create and advance a legislative agenda representing the needs of the homeless response system and interagency council to leverage funding and collaboration. This includes legislation to declare homelessness a public health crisis.
Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Inc. is working to expand “good cause” eviction protections for tenants and advocating for the Cap the Rent CT Coalition, which seeks to cap rent increases to three percent. The Fair Housing Center serves as a lead partner of the coalition, offering legal services and collaborating with tenant leaders and grassroots organizations.
Connecticut Tenants Union is another organization helping to lead the grassroots efforts of the Cap the Rent CT Coalition to support the passage of good cause eviction protections, a cap on rents, and the introduction of rent stabilization legislation.
Make the Road Connecticut is seeking to organize tenants to ensure the proper implementation of Hartford’s housing code violations policy and hold landlords accountable, leading to increased housing quality for tenants.
Once INCarcerated Anonymous provides justice-impacted people with training in how to advocate for access to permanent housing for those who were previously incarcerated.
Regional Plan Association (Desegregate CT) is working to gain passage of Desegregate CT’s Work Live Ride proposal promoting the development of transit-oriented communities (where housing is constructed near public transit hubs). This work includes increasing awareness of the need for pro-homes zoning reform at state and local levels, attracting more coalition members, and ultimately passing a pro-homes, transit-oriented communities proposal in 2024.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $948 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.