State officials asking landlords to offer affordable housing for Afghan refugees in Connecticut

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Three Afghan families flew into Connecticut on Tuesday night. What they need is affordable housing where they can settle down, take a moment, and finally breathe.

For refugees moving into their first home on U.S. soil, Jim Anctil is often the one carrying in the precious few belongings they start out with. He volunteers his company, Marie’s Movers, to IRIS, a refugee resettlement nonprofit.

“We can provide a lot of the support, but we still need beds and warm homes to go with these big hearts,” Gov. Ned Lamont.

Lamont asked landlords in the state to help provide affordable housing to the hundreds of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban takeover in their home country, and finding a safe space in Connecticut. The state is expecting 500 people resettling from Afghanistan, already more than 200 have found homes in the state.

“A vital component of this is landlords that are willing to take a risk on people, landlords that are willing to welcome folks,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said. “They’re human beings. They’re going to work, they’re going to be able to support themselves.”

Non-profits IRIS and CIRIS, Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, scour cities and towns across the state, helping secure housing for their clients. Right now, in total, the groups are looking for 140 apartments for incoming families.

They are looking for clean, cozy homes with donated furniture and toys for children. Blank slates volunteers like Anctil can help fill with love.

“It’s meeting the families and seeing how grateful they are for what they’re getting,” Anctil said.

If you are a landlord and can offer that type of affordable housing to refugees in Connecticut, the local non-profits want to hear from you. You can contact IRIS at 203-562-2095 or contact CIRI at 203-336-0141.

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