HARTFORD, CT - State Senators Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) and Carlo Leone (D-Stamford, Darien) joined with their Senate colleagues today in a unanimous vote to confirm the nomination of Evonne Klein of Darien to be the first Commissioner of the new Department of Housing.
“Evonne Klein was a great leader as First Selectman of Darien. She brought people together with diverse points of view, and made great progress on multiple economic issues, including affordable housing. This experience, including her collaborative approach to leadership, makes her an ideal choice to get our brand new housing department up and running,” said Senator Duff.
“First Selectman Klein served the people of Darien very well, and I am delighted that she will now have the opportunity to serve the entire state. Leading a new department is no easy task, but Ms. Klein has proven experience as a leader. She is more than ready for the job. Affordable housing is an important issue which impacts thousands of families, and I look forward to the new department beginning its work,” said Senator Leone.
The new Department of Housing, created in legislation passed last June, will serve as the lead agency for housing-related matters in the state. The department will be responsible for providing centralized leadership and a comprehensive approach to eliminating homelessness and meeting the housing needs of low and moderate-income individuals, families, and communities in Connecticut.
Multiple existing state housing programs from the Department of Economic & Community Development, the Department of Social Services, the Office of Policy & Management, and the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services are being consolidated and streamlined into the new Department of Housing.
Klein, a Darien resident, is currently an Engage Life Director with Atria Senior Living. She previously served as First Selectman of Darien from 2003 to 2009, during which time she worked towards stimulating economic development in the town, including revitalization of the town’s downtown district. She also led efforts to expand affordable housing in Darien, including the development of a Town of Darien Affordable Housing Plan and zoning regulations to increase the local stock of affordable housing.
Klein’s nomination now proceeds to the House of Representatives for final approval.
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