This is my heart's work. It is inspirational, necessary work. You can't build a future without imagining what's possible. However, not everyone can reach those dreams because there are so many barriers to entry. Discriminatory practices are still there.”
-- Jennifer Raitt
The Citizens’ Housing & Planning Association (CHAPA) presented its Open Door Champion Award to Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine and Jennifer Raitt, director of planning and community development, at its recent fair-housing symposium.
The nonprofit housing advocate gives the award to those who inspire efforts aimed at fair housing. Chapdelaine and Raitt were recognized for their leadership in creating Arlington’s Fair Housing Action Plan and their commitment to promoting fair housing for all.
"I hope I will continue to be an enabler and uplifter of this work and try to keep it as part of the dialogue so that we can implement recommendations in the plan," said Chapdelaine in a May 2 town newes release. “I’m honored by the award and really want to commend Jenny and her team for their efforts in developing a fair housing plan for Arlington.”
Raitt said: "This is my heart's work. It is inspirational, necessary work. You can't build a future without imagining what's possible. However, not everyone can reach those dreams because there are so many barriers to entry. Discriminatory practices are still there.”
She was named to her current position in 2016. The manager is leaving the town in June after serving since 2010.
Arlington’s Fair Housing Action Plan was developed from 2019 and completed in July 2021. The town worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law.
The plan includes an extensive analysis of existing fair-housing conditions as well as recommendations including increasing awareness and education pertaining to fair housing, amending policies and zoning that restricts fair housing options, and assisting members of protected classes with attaining and retaining housing. Several plan recommendations involve an evaluation of funding resources and the process of allocating funds.
The Department of Planning and Community Development plans to continue working and collaborating with the Arlington Housing Rights Commission, Disability Commission, LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, Arlington Housing Authority, the Housing Corporation of Arlington, and other town bodies and organizations dedicated to housing and equity to achieve the benchmarks outlined in the plan.
Raitt provided an overview of Arlington’s plan at the CHAPA symposium.
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This news announcement was published Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
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