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Committee on Housing to hold hearing Thursday on right to housing bill

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness has announced that the Committee on Housing will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 4, on S.B. 194, an Act Establishing a Right to Housing, which is proposed legislation "expressing the state's commitment to progressively implement policies to respect, protect, and fulfill a right to affordable, decent, safe, and stable housing."

"The bill would require state agencies and municipalities to consider the impact on the right to housing when adopting or revising policies and regulations," the news release states. "Although the bill does not direct the state to take specific policy actions to achieve the right to housing, it declares the state's intention to advance the right and requires consideration of the right to housing in governmental decision making."

Sarah Fox, director of policy at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, called the bill "a first strong step in building not only the political will but also the proper policy stances to eliminate homelessness."

"We have an opportunity to make Connecticut the first state in our nation to recognize housing as a human right," Fox added.

The bill also calls for a committee to analyze Connecticut's approach and identify the needs of people who are more at risk of facing homelessness or housing insecurity, the release states.

"Protected groups named specifically in the legislation include individuals currently experiencing homelessness; individuals with disabilities; individuals with past or current involvement in the criminal justice system; individuals from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups; individuals from historically marginalized groups based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual trafficking; refugees and immigrants; and veterans," the release states.

The proposal "would also designate an employee of the Department of Housing as the Housing Advocate, responsible for collecting data on and responding to issues raised by DOH benefits recipients in regard to the right to housing," the release states.

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