NORWALK, Conn. -- The state has selected the Norwalk Housing Authority as the new Community Action Agency for the Norwalk region, which will provide social services previously provided by Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now.
NEON was an anti-poverty agency that operated in Norwalk since the 1960s. It filed for bankruptcy last June after years of financial problems, during which the federal government said it misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars . Earlier this year, the state Department of Social Services put out a Request for Qualifications, seeking agencies interested in becoming a new Community Action Agency that would provide the services formerly provided by NEON.
Three organizations sent in bids to the state and are now awaiting a final decision: the Norwalk Housing Authority, the Danbury-based Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, and the Kiwanis Club of Norwalk. The selection of the Housing Authority was announced Friday.
Following the selection of the Norwalk Housing Authority on Friday, Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), Rep. Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk) and Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) released a joint statement praising the decision.
“Today’s announcement moves the region forward by ensuring that essential health and human services will be provided to the citizens of Greater Norwalk," the statement read. "Throughout this whole process, we have advocated, along with many others in the community, that the recipient to become the Community Action Agency of Norwalk region must have ties to the community and be a reputable and respected organization. The Norwalk Housing Authority has shown that they meet all of these standards."
“We would like to recognize and thank Department of Social Services Commissioner Rod Bremby and his staff for their due diligence and positive efforts in this decision process. Commissioner Bremby served as a resource to members of the community, was willing to listen and has also shown the ability to take charge of the situation. This is a day we all can be proud of and the start of a new beginning. All of us in the community are ready to put the past behind us and focus on our main objective: ensuring there is a robust community action agency in Norwalk to support our residents.”
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