Eviction reform debate evokes deeper questions

Ginny Monk | CT Mirror

Exchanges between legislators and members of the public Tuesday on the issue of housing revealed a range of broad questions Connecticut lawmakers will grapple with this session — and the underlying debate about whether to prioritize housing as a necessity or as a business opportunity.

It’s been a familiar question and a delicate balance for the Housing Committee in recent sessions, particularly as committee members consider measures to regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.

During Tuesday’s public hearing, the committee heard testimony from renters, landlords and housing experts on a bill that would require landlords to provide a reason when evicting tenants in larger apartment complexes.

Senate Bill 143 would end evictions that occur when leases run out for tenants in buildings with five units or manufactured mobile home parks. That protection already exists for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Senate Democrats also said Tuesday morning that they plan to include the eviction protections in their priority bill, which also asks for more money for the homelessness response system and additional funds for the state’s Rental Assistance Program, among other measures.

“There are low-income renters, middle-income renters that are being pushed out of Connecticut and pushed out of some towns into places where they are losing connections to their church, they are losing connections to family and friends,” said committee co-chair Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, during the Senate Democrats’ press conference.


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