Norwalk’s bid to end homelessness is complicated by rising rent and lack of housing

Less than two years ago, Michele Conderino said Norwalk was well-positioned to end homelessness here.

In summer 2022, there were seven people living homeless without shelter in the city, said Conderino, executive director of Open Doors, a housing and homeless service organization in Norwalk. With local social service groups like Open Doors and Norwalk Housing Authority dedicated to ending homelessness through immediate shelter housing, affordable housing, and the active use of vouchers, Conderino said that ending homelessness within city limits was in Norwalk’s grasp.

Since then, unsheltered homelessness has quadrupled: now, there’s about 30 unsheltered homeless individuals in Norwalk, she said.

What happened? Conderino said the direct causes were a decrease in housing inventory and a sharp increase in rental costs. But she said more indirect causes reveal that homelessness isn’t as much of an issue as the social ills that cause it.


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