The small town of Winchester in Connecticut is mired in a bit of controversy, after a Hartford-based Connecticut Fair Housing Center and a fellow Black plaintiff allege that Section 8 vouchers for the rural community have been primarily and systematically handed out to White residents only. The lawsuit against the town’s housing authority charges that city officials discriminate against potential Black residents in an insidious attempt to keep the town free of minorities.
Last week, Crystal Carter and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center filed the suit, after Carter reportedly wasn’t given the customary application letter for Section 8 housing because she doesn’t meet Winchester’s strict zoning requirements for residency.
According to the Winchester Housing Authority (WHA), only residents of the 17 towns under their jurisdiction are allowed to apply for and obtain Section 8 housing. Carter and Fair Housing state, though, that this gives an unfair advantage to residents in and around Winchester as most of the surrounding areas are more than 91 percent White.
Carter, a single Mom of six who resides in Hartford, cannot get any of the prime housing in Winchester because she doesn’t live in one of the towns. A victim of domestic violence, Carter was attempting to be added to a waiting list for Section 8 assistance. Instead, Carter was forced to live in shelters and other unsavory environments while trying to find a home for her family.
In light of the lawsuit and the allegations brought forth, the WHA is reportedly seeking to change its stringent policies soon.