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Hamden approves fair rent proposal spearheaded by tenants' union

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A new fair rent ordinance has been passed in Hamden.

The ordinance will give tenants the right to submit consolidated complaints, and acknowledges the role of the tenants’ union in Fair Rent Commission processes.

It also requires monthly reporting from the commission to the legislative council to make legislators aware of housing complaints.

Melissa Anderson, a leader in the tenants’ union, celebrated the changes.

“The union has definitely helped me feel like I have a voice when I felt like I wasn't heard,” Anderson said. “This ordinance is definitely amazing for Hamden. It lets us tenants feel like we have rights and we're able to do something, and we're not so alone and helpless.”

Regina Kunzel is a professor at Yale and a homeowner in Hamden. Kunzel said the fair rent ordinance benefits the entire community — not just those who rent.

“Community with greater housing stability, and the assurance of fair treatment for renters is a safer and a stronger community as well as a fairer one, and one with a kind of sense of shared belonging that's in all of our interest to cultivate.”

The ordinance passed unanimously and will take effect as soon as it is signed, which is expected to happen within a week.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.