Mayor Ganim Announces Fair Rent Commission for the City of Bridgeport and Swears in Commissioners
Bridgeport, CT – Today, Mayor Ganim announced the re-establishment of the Fair Rent Commission in the City of Bridgeport. The re-establishment of the commission has been through a partnership between the Mayor’s Administration and the Bridgeport City Council, which recently readopted a modified Fair Rent ordinance. The Mayor and Council were joined by State Senator Marilyn Moore who helped champion state legislation to support the creation of Fair Rent commissions around the state, as well as a number of community stakeholders that are working to address the issues around affordable housing throughout the city.
The commission, which will be made up of seven members, will help to mediate disputes between landlords and renters regarding rents that might be deemed “excessive.” Three of the seven members of the commission were sworn in by Mayor Ganim today. If mediation is not successful, the Fair Rent Commission is empowered under state statute and local ordinance to set a fair rent, among other remedies. The commission will be supported and staffed by a full-time, bilingual city Fair Rent Coordinator who will handle all cases reported to the commission, help mediate disputes, and serve as clerk to the commission. Residents are encouraged to call 203-576-8323 to reach the Fair Rent Coordinator.
The Fair Rent Commission is ultimately one of the many tools being employed by the City of Bridgeport to address affordability of housing in the city, especially due to recent years of high inflation. The median household income within Bridgeport is reported to be $50,597 whereas the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Fairfield County is $2,076, which may result in a Bridgeport family spending more than 50% of their income on housing-related needs. According to the Connecticut General Statute 8-30g, it is recommended housing cost not to exceed 30% of household income. The commission will be tasked with dealing with specific rental increases that are deemed to be excessive in nature.
“The establishment of the Fair Rent Commission is exactly what Bridgeport needs to address the issues that many of our residents face in terms of affordable housing,” stated Mayor Ganim. “The fact that many Bridgeport households are possibly using half of their income on housing-related needs makes our residents vulnerable. I am thankful to all of those involved in the re-establishment of the Fair Rent Commission. And as we do our part here in Bridgeport to address the affordability crisis, I call on elected officials in other towns and cities throughout the state to do the same.”
The Fair Rent Commission is expected to have its first organizational meeting in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, cases can be filed with the Fair Rent Commission by downloading the appropriate documents from the City of Bridgeport’s website. The documents will be made available in both English and Spanish. Further information on the Fair Rent Office and the Fair Rent Commission will be forthcoming as progress is made to establish their schedule and operating procedures.
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