2018 IForums


Housing: The Hub of Public Policy
The Partnership for Strong Communities, in conjunction with generous partners, presents its 14th season of policy forums. This year's IForums will focus on housing as a key to Connecticut's most complex public policy challenges, including: economic growth, improving mass transit, preventing homelessness and criminal justice.

Click here for a downloadable flyer.

January 29th, 8:30am-11:00am - Click here for a recap. 
Housing Success in CT Towns:
Tools, Techniques, Leadership & The Law

A range of Connecticut municipalities — many of them high-income, high-resource, with access to transit and vital services — are creating mixed-income multifamily housing in smart-growth locations. Thousands of units have been built or zoned. But other towns aren’t, or just barely, expanding their housing options, even though their residents need different, more affordable choices and their surplus of single-family homes is limiting their revenue-raising ability. In fact, the real property grand lists in 150 of 169 municipalities have flattened or fallen between 2008 and 2016. 

What have some towns done right? Why have some towns done little? Which methods have been helpful? What new tools are needed?

Click here for more information.
Click here for a downloadable flyer. 

February 27th, 8:30am-11:00am - Click here for a recap. 
Transit-Oriented Development:
Environmental and Public Benefits

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has clear public benefits. It can fill the need for affordable housing and benefit the economy by increasing property tax revenues and creating more prosperous commercial zones. TOD’s environmental benefits are less well known but equally important. TOD promotes energy-efficient denser development which can reduce automobile dependence. It also helps preserve open spaces by reducing sprawl and reclaiming unusable space through brownfield remediation. This IForum will explore how natural allies — advocates for affordable housing, mass transit, energy conservation and environmental protection — can work together to focus on smart growth planning in conjunction with environmental quality and justice.

Click here for more information.
Click here for a downloadable flyer. 

March 19, 2018, (snow date March 22nd) 8:30am-11:00am
Drowning in Big Data:
Translating Numbers into Meaningful Messages

We live in an age of big data. The proliferation of housing-related data provides new opportunities to explore why housing matters. Effectively synthesizing and translating results in a meaningful way can be challenging. Tiffany Manuel, Vice President of Knowledge, Impact and Strategy at Enterprise Community Partners will share why messages supporting affordable housing expansion often backfire and how we can make simple changes to avoid these common pitfalls. Additionally, a panel of data practitioners from across Connecticut (CT Data Collaborative, United Way, and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC)) will provide an interactive review of how to access and leverage data to effectively expand support for a range of housing issues. Using live polling, the panel will explore how to locate these data and share best practices when using data for housing advocacy.

Click here for more information.
Click here for a downloadable flyer. 

April 2018, 8:30am-11:00am
Ending Family Homelessness: A Focus on the Entire Family
What is the key to ending family homelessness? In Connecticut, we are creating a response system that quickly exits families out of homelessness and connects them to services that focus on improving the overall well-being, health, education and economic stability of both parents and children. This IForum will explore a collaborative approach that crosses these multiple systems to ensure that the needs of the entire family are addressed.

May 2018, 8:30am-11:00am
The Health Care System and Housing: Intrinsically Linked for Optimum Health
Without a stable place to live, it’s difficult to access preventative care and very hard to stay healthy. Housing is considered an essential social determinant of health, meaning it is crucial to establishing optimum health. It follows that individuals who have complex healthcare needs are at very high risk of poor health outcomes if they do not have safe and stable housing. One approach being tested is Community Care Teams (CCTs), a system of cross-discipline teams of health care providers, housing providers, and social service providers who work together to identify and assist individuals with complex health and social issues who are frequent users of Emergency Departments. This IForum will share the successes and lessons learned from a two-year study of the CCTs funded by the United Health Foundation and CT Health Foundation. In addition, we will explore the growing impact of the opioid epidemic on health and how various housing interventions may lead us to promising practices and evidenced-based approaches for assisting people with Opioid Use Disorders.

The IForums are produced with the support of:

With thanks to our founding sponsor: