To help policymakers, housing providers, nonprofit staff, and residents better understand how decades of discriminatory housing policies and practices shaped the segregated state we see today, the Center offers fair housing tours of different regions of the state.

This project was inspired by the tour created by the Fair Housing Council of Oregon.

First conceived in 2015, The Hartford Fair Housing History Tour was developed to share our fair housing history with stakeholders and community leaders. The tour was designed with the intention that our past will inform our decisions in the present. Over three years, the Hartford Tour was given on a bus ride throughout the city and though it had a significant impact on folks, it was expensive and could only be offered a few times per year. So, in 2018, the Center partnered with Hartford History Center to create the Fair Housing History Tour of Hartford.

The project was made possible through funding from The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2018, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the Center partnered with New London Landmarks to learn how urban renewal policies shaped New London’s neighborhoods. Our research uncovered a neighborhood lost to the Winthrop Cove Renewal Project; in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, almost 700 families were displaced, streets were abolished, and the housing was never rebuilt. That Fall, with funding from CT Humanities, we created a historic walking tour of the Winthrop Cove neighborhood, “Discrimination, Urban Renewal, and New London’s Lost Neighborhood”.

Scroll through the digital tour to learn more about this redevelopment project, and how this neighborhood was chosen for slum clearance.

In 2019, the Center partnered with student researchers from the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research at Trinity College to better understand the effects of aggressive urban renewal and the impact of discriminatory housing policies n Willimantic’s Business District. The students worked with the Connecticut Studies Collection at Eastern Connecticut State University, Towne Engineering, Inc., members of the Willimantic City Council, the Willimantic Town Hall, the Mill Museum, and Willimantic residents to collect public records, newspapers, maps, municipal policy documents, public meeting minutes, and photo archives.

In this virtual tour, we explore how Willimantic’s urban renewal agenda of the 1960s and 1970s both socially and economically transformed the small borough n Windham, Connecticut. The story is designed to illuminate he effects of aggressive urban renewal and highlight the impact of discriminatory housing policies on our urban centers. View news clippings and photos on Flickr.

The digital map storytelling tool was built in partnership with CT Data Collaborative.