Remember those days when Bridgeport was perceived as the pariah of Connecticut with more people moving out than in? Not anymore. The latest census measures the city’s population growth on the cusp of 150,000, the highest in the state.
Part of that is driven by the pricey housing market in lower Fairfield County. Thousands have moved into the Downtown area the past decade with more rental apartments on the horizon. But, as the Connecticut Post’s Brian Lockhart notes, the stock of affordable housing supply is not keeping up with the rental demand.
From a former downtown hotel and an ex-office building nearby to a just-sold restaurant and catering facility in the North End, it may seem as if, whatever the structure, developers here now want to put housing in it.
And while that recent trend, coupled with brand-new construction of other market-rate apartment complexes underway or planned around town, can be interpreted as a positive for Bridgeport’s economy–bringing in new, higher-income taxpayers and consumers–many observers also worry the stock of affordable units is not keeping pace.
… the former Holiday Inn hotel downtown sold last winter and is being transformed into housing expected to be available in early 2023. And there are now similar plans for a recently-sold, mid-1960s office tower at 855 Main St.
Most recently Testo’s restaurant and catering hall, a well-known North End establishment owned by Democratic Town Committee Chairman Mario Testa, was purchased by a developer to make way for a 177-unit, market-rate complex.
… “We have a tremendous problem,” (Doris) Latorre (chief executive officer of Building Neighborhoods Together) added. “There are no vacancies. People just have a problem finding apartments, and then there’s no affordable apartments. So for every (one) you have tons of people looking to be able to get in (from) all walks of life. … Senior citizens. Single mothers. Single people as well as families.” She also said she is aware of plenty of people “couch-surfing” from one temporary spot with friends or family to another.
Full story here.