Malloy signs bill to assist towns in dealing with hoarding cases -- another blight issue

Malloy signs bill to assist towns in dealing with hoarding cases -- another blight issue

Hartford Courant, May 26, 2016

By Daniela Altimari

HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a Senate bill this week that is intended to help towns and cities coordinate responses to hoarding cases.

The act creates a 23-member task force to review current policies that address hoarding, identify barriers to intervention and assistance, and help state agencies and municipalities develop potential solutions, including addressing public safety and health issues associated with hoarding.

Efforts to establish a task force on hoarding fell short last year but will finally get off the ground in 2016. Hoarding, the excessive and haphazard collection of possessions — anything from newspapers to clothing to pets — can create dangers for the afflicted individual, family members and the community at large.

Countless cases of hoarding back to top

State Sen. Paul Doyle, a Democrat from Wethersfield and one of the bill's main champions, said he has come across countless cases of hoarding in his more than 25 years as a practicing attorney.

The task force will examine current approaches used by public agencies to address hoarding, identify barriers to intervening and assisting people who compulsively hoard and create a framework to coordinate the efforts among state and local agencies to address the public safety and health issues associated with hoarding.

The task force will report back to the legislature by January 1.

At least 75 jurisdictions have established hoarding task forces since 1989, when Fairfax County, Va., set up what is believed to be the nation's first such panel.