Councilwoman Lyons To Diocese: Build Elderly Housing On North End Property

News release from City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons:

Bridgeport City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons of the 134th District is calling on the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese to build additional elderly housing on its property at 238 Jewett Avenue in the North End of Bridgeport.

“Since the Diocese has already built the former Bishop Curtis elderly rental apartments on the perimeter of its Jewett Avenue property, additional elderly housing with set asides for veterans and people with disabilities would help greatly in easing the housing crisis for the elderly, serve as the best and highest use for the property and would be welcome by the neighborhood,” said Lyons.

“There is a real and urgent need for more elderly housing. Within my District and throughout Bridgeport, the current private and publicly owned elderly housing apartment units have long waiting lists for those seeking occupancy. The lists stretch for years before an individual is even notified of a vacancy. I receive numerous calls from elderly constituents seeking such housing who are frustrated by the long wait time,” said Councilwoman Lyons.

“In addition to the former Bishop Curtis Homes on Jewett Avenue, the Diocese, at one time, had hired The Stair Lift Installers to improve elderly housing. In Bridgeport, one such development was the Augustana Homes on Palisade Avenue. Our proposal for elderly housing would not be a new venture for the Diocese.”

Lyons went on to say, “As the elected City Councilwoman of the 134th District, I and a group of neighbors stand ready to meet with the Bishop at any time, to discuss our proposal for elderly housing.”

The Diocese of Bridgeport in collaboration with Fairfield University proposed the creation of the Bellarmine Community College for 238 Jewett Avenue along with some Diocesan offices remaining on site. Neighbors argued that a college was not allowed in the zone, notwithstanding a legal opinion by Attorney Russell Liskov, a member of the Bridgeport City Attorney’s Office. The neighbors appealed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Only after a second legal opinion, issued by former City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer, which agreed with the neighbors that a college use was not permitted, was the Diocese’s application withdrawn from the Bridgeport Planning and Zoning Commission Agenda.



  1. The Diocese is basically broke. They aren’t building anything that doesn’t turn a profit, and are busy trying to sell assets to generate cash.
    They came to us in Trumbull begging to be allowed to build a mausoleum at Gates of Heaven Cemetery. They were losing business to cemeteries not owned by the Diocese.
    Ray Rizzio got the zoning change approved. Before the first shovel broke ground they were back seeking an expansion. $$$$$$$&
    Last Year Ray shows up at Zoning seeking a change from the 1959 agreement that prohibits upright headstones. The Diocese is losing customers.
    We caused a fuss and the church was forced to retreat.
    They’ve been trying to sell a derelict florist shop and 2 family house on Main Street for over a million dollars with no takers.

    Why are they broke? Shall we not forget the sex scandals and large settlements.

    Sorry, Councilwoman they will not be building senior housing. They were hoping Fairfield U would add to their cash flow.

    1. Michelle Lyons has become a fellow marionette of your puppet master, Maria Pereira. I wonder which one of you will change your tune about this issue first. 😉

      1. @Steven Green
        What issue??????????????????????/

        I read the post about Councilwoman Lyons desire to have the Bridgeport Diocese build Elderly Housing on its Jewett Avenue property and I responded why I would not expect the broke diocese to do so.
        I am not opposed to building elderly housing. I have never discussed this with anyone, just wrote a response based on my experiences with the Diocese and its Zoning attorney Ray Rizzio.

        I live within 1000′ of a blighted structure owned by the Diocese that they have been trying to sell for a number of years at an unrealistically high price with no offers. When told by our zoning enforcement officer/blight enforcement officer to clean it up and secure it, they delayed and delayed crying poverty.
        The Diocese has been unable to keep schools open in Bridgeport and has merged parishes, closing buildings in CT’s largest city. BUT, in this 37,000 person suburb immediately to the north they manage to maintain FOUR Parish Churches, Two K-8 schools and a high school.
        Do you really think they’s spend more than a million dollars to build elderly housing in Bridgeport that won’t turn a profit?

      1. @JoelG
        Maybe you can convince the diocese to use the mausoleum for those who OD

        The derelict Florist shop is ready for demolition and couldn’t hold 10 people for a meeting (if the building could be made safe for someone to walk in).
        As for the two family house: would you want to displace people from their homes to treat addicts? If so, come up with $1.2 million and buy it from the Diocese. It adjoins a nursing home so you might be able to get a zoning change for a medical use. It is also on a bus line that goes to Bridgeport,
        You come up with the funds and I will support the application when P&Z has a public hearing….and it is in my yard

    1. P.S. While they will not generally build anything that doesn’t turn a profit. The only entity that can operate on that business model is a government-funded business. Operation costs and overhead has to come from somewhere. But they will build senior housing if it is profitable for them, Right?

      To be fair, they operate on donations from their perishers but it’s a far cry from mandatory taxation by the government.

      LMAO. 10%? that’s a tip. SMH 🤣

    2. @Robert T

      A 50 year old movie clip about the Vatican’s money has absolutely nothing to do with how broke an individual American Diocese is.
      The money flows to Rome, not from Rome to Bridgeport


Leave a Reply