City Council To Act On Affordable Housing Plan

UPDATE: Item was sent back to committee for further review and possible edits. It was apparently placed on full council agenda prematurely.

Original story:

The City Council Monday night will vote to adopt the city’s proposed Affordable Housing Plan submitted by the office of economic development.

The state is requiring each of Connecticut’s 169 communities to adopt a plan with the goal of reaching 10 percent affordable. The state legislature is grappling with how to enforce the requirement. Carrot or stick?

Many rural and suburban legislators don’t want to intrude upon the character of large-acre zoning. Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest community by population with roughly 148,000, has absorbed the regional housing metrics.

Bridgeport sits at roughly 21 percent classified as affordable, far and away the most in Connecticut’s largest and most affluence Fairfield County. Most of Bridgeport’s suburban neighbors rest at single digits, according to the state’s measurement of what counts as affordable housing.

Government subsidies such as tax incentives are built into the plan to entice developers who say there’s no money to be made without abatements.

Affordable housing, as an issue, has seeped into this year’s mayoral election cycle so Mayor Joe Ganim’s three presumed September primary opponents John Gomes, Lamond Daniels and Marilyn Moore will certainly weight in on this plan.

Moore is Senate chair of housing and had hoped to come away this past legislative session with something concrete to share with city voters on a tangible state plan requiring suburbs to do their share. Moore was forced to punt following strong pushback from suburban colleagues who don’t want this shoved down their constituents throats.

For now it’s languishing in study mode.

See the full agenda and backup information for each item here

Scroll to end of document to read the full housing plan submitted to the council. Excerpt from plan follows:




  1. Is your current housing affordable for you? Where do you turn, as a resident of Bridgeport to look for guidance and answers when you have specific or personal questions on issues of the wallet?
    A report has been required by the State of CT and has been overdue since last year. Why no open meeting to understand how the Master Plan and affordability intersect? When municipal adjustments to future property taxes are used, shouldn’t the wider group of taxpayers who make up necessary funding differences in the short term, understand all the mechanics, drafter by their Department of Econ Development? How does it feel to know that there were private meetings about the old rules and new rules of our Master Plan, but where was the public session that indicated, articulated, and spoke to the potential for a 177 unit VERTICAL NEIGHBORHOOD standing in the midst of single family homes with likely broad impact to resident parking?
    Mayors have been cavalier in neglecting their responsibility to Appoint and maintain Fair Housing and Fair Resident commissions and those bodies, served by residents died in plain sight? How do you resurrect these groups when you are not serious about qualified residents serving in a democratic fashion? Why are silence and status quo the favored values of autocracy? Time will tell.

  2. The City Council Monday night will vote to adopt the city’s proposed Affordable Housing Plan submitted by the office of economic development. “By all measures, and consistently year after year, Bridgeport’s commitment to affordable housing sets the standard for the region.” That statement is only impressive because seldom has so much bullshit been packed into one sentence. The fact is that nobody wants to live here, that’s why housing is more affordable in Bridgeport, not because of anything “Little Joe” Ganim is doing. It’s kind of ironic that Joe Ganim and company can run the City of Bridgeport into the ground and then take credit for the fact that housing prices are affordable. Only in Bridgeport. If the State of Connecticut doesn’t trust Joe Ganim to practice law because he’s a convicted felon, why do we trust him to run our city?

  3. Notice the UPDATE. Administration moved too fast in scheduling Council vote, apparently.
    Did Council members read the entire report. It did have data and numbers that were not included in OPED offering months ago. And it does show OPED plans.
    But while the report trots out a series of objectives over a timeline of ten years, it does not provide a picture of where those types of units, or locations planned will be. Is that of interest to current residents? Perhaps some thought would be given to genuine questions and answers meetings for all taxpayers rather than restricted to admin and Council committee attendance.
    In the middle of the report, perhaps unnoticed by those who scan, is a statement of procedural and regulatory nature: Re-establish the Fair Rent Commission in order to provide a direct place of appeal and information in support of residen rights. Good as far as it goes but Commissions in the City are not part of enforcement, are they? And the purpose in the Council Ordinance is about dealing with “excessive rental charges”. Are these purposes even similar or clear to the public including renters?
    We used to have Fair Rent AND Fair Housing commissions, as you know. They disappeared when the Mayor ignored appointing eligible residents and voters to these boards, and as terms expired the remaining folks were unable to make quorums, hold meetings, with agendas and minutes, and no one seemed to care. That is Mayoral Power without explanation, because the City until the NEWEST update on the City website continued to list these two FAIR boards along with other ‘active’ Boards and Commissions.
    So, I ask, why does a latest City document titled “Affordable Housing Plan”, overdue as to request from State of Connecticut, fail to plan for, order, request, or other semi-active verb not raise the issue for the resurrection of a deceased former FAIR HOUSING COMMISSION as well? Time will tell.


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