An unusual fence that for decades separated low-income residents of public housing in New Haven, Connecticut, from their suburban neighbors in Hamden began coming down today.
The New Haven Housing Authority began removing the fence on Monday. New Haven officials describe the fence as a relic of a less progressive time and say fears of crime are outdated because of changes in public housing.
The Housing Authority was planning to sue Hamden on civil rights grounds, but the parties agreed at a federal mediation session last week that the fence would be removed.
Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton, the executive director of Elm City Communities, which provides subsidized housing, said there were problems in the past, but the way to solve problems is not by segregating and limiting opportunity for entire segments of the population.
Some Hamden residents have expressed concerns about crime and traffic. Hamden's mayor says the town can't stop the Housing Authority because it owns the fence, but it will step up a police presence.