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Officials Brace for Foxwoods Expansion

21 November 2005

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Connecticut Day: "When Benjamin P. Lathrop, the next mayor of Norwich, heard details last week of the $700 million expansion at Foxwoods Resort Casino, expected to create 2,300 new jobs, one of his first reactions was: "Where are they going to live?"

"Lathrop, who now serves on the City Council, will on Dec. 6 take the oath as mayor of the city that has seen dramatic changes in the last decade as a result of the development of the region's two tribal casinos — Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

"During the past several years more than 1,300 units of new housing, most of it condominiums and apartments, have been developed in the city, largely to meet the demand for housing by a growing casino workforce. Many formerly blighted older homes, which once catered to the poor, have been renovated as landlords see a profit in catering to the casino workforce.

"…James P. Cronin, who chairs the region's Blue Ribbon Housing Panel, said 2,300 new workers looking for jobs will only aggravate an already tight housing market, making it particularly difficult for workers with service industry jobs to afford a place to live.

"…If there is not enough housing it will create other problems, with more tenants squeezing into overcrowded apartments, creating health and safety concerns, Cronin said…"

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