Top Stories 2016: Efforts continue to move families out of high-rises

Changes at the New London Housing Authority in 2016 included the departure of the housing authority's director. Most of the changes can be traced to a 2014 court-stipulated judgment that resolved a nearly decade long class-action lawsuit brought against the authority on behalf of the tenants complaining about the abysmal conditions at the 124-family, federally subsidized Thames River Apartment complex on Crystal Avenue. The agreement ordered new homes for Crystal Avenue residents.

The housing authority enlisted a company to find a suitable replacement site for an affordable housing complex. Earlier this year, the company purchased the former Edgerton School property but has yet to gain land-use approval.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deemed the housing authority substandard, which in turn prompted a renewed push for action to get tenants out of the Crystal Avenue high-rises.

Housing authority Director Sue Shontell filed a discrimination complaint against the city and board members. The housing authority terminated Shontell's contract and hired an interim director. The board has partnered with the city to obtain approvals to hand out housing vouchers to the tenants.

— Greg Smith

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