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Fairfield County's Community Foundation wins national award

Fairfield County Community Foundation

Fairfield County's Community Foundation has received a prestigious national award for supporting affordable housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the FCCF with the 2023 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

The foundation has helped thousands of individuals find homes through the Fairfield County Center for Housing Opportunity.

The foundation’s CEO, Mendi Blue-Paca, said they do a diverse set of work.

“It engages in technical assistance for planning and zoning staff and commissions and city planners,” Blue-Paca said. “It deals with a lot of data aggregation and sharing. There's an affordable housing database where people can actually go on and look and see what units are available and potentially get matched up.”

Blue-Paca said affordable housing continues to be a problem in Fairfield County — especially for people of color.

“In particular, this crisis greatly impacts black and Latino residents,” Blue-Paca said. “And so the data is, you know, pretty stark in terms of differences in homeownership differences in rental rate spikes. And so while it is a collective problem, it's also an issue that we need to pay attention to from a racial equity and an equity perspective as well.”

The FCCF is one of only nine foundations across the country to be recognized.

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