Letter: Residents should take the time to watch Darien Talks Housing series

Send letters to the editor to: Editor@DarienTimes.com

Send letters to the editor to: Editor@DarienTimes.com

Hearst Connecticut Media

To the Editor:

Have you spent your evenings zooming friends and relatives? Great, then you know zoom! Put friends and relatives aside one hour a month and engage with Darien Talks Housing. Chris Janson and Evonne Klein have hosted a series of informative zoom sessions, bringing in experts, advocates and legislators, in order to educate everyone about our very complicated challenge—Connecticut’s housing crisis. You can find videos and more information on Instagram, too.

On April 1, Ellis Calvin, an urban planner, presented a detailed report on Fairfield’s housing needs. It revealed, unsurprisingly, the concentration of wealth and race in many coastal towns. It also revealed that Darien has made more progress than some similar towns. https://rpa.org/work/reports/fairfield-county-housing-needs-assessment)

There are demographically concentrated bedroom communities on the periphery of many urban centers across this country. What makes Connecticut different is the incorporation of small communities/neighborhoods into towns with no county oversight. Societal costs associated with the poor are not considered as thoroughly because the poor are not stakeholders in certain towns. This is why we have constant battles between state and towns.

The result has been predictable.

Connecticut now ranks 49th in the country for building housing/satisfying housing shortages. Approximately 66,000 units of additional housing are needed for our impoverished population. Housing burdens (measured by percentage of income absorbed by housing costs) are so outrageous, they have even become a problem in more affluent towns like Darien.

That’s the thing about societal costs--they grow until they explode; then solutions become more costly, and the resulting state profiles may inhibit business development.

I appreciate the efforts of our energetic housing advocates for highlighting this crisis.

Please, Darien, watch this Zoom series, read their Instagram page.

Debbie Ann Ice

author, DEAD FISH and What the Blue Jays Know