Statement on Park City Communities Plans to Evict 500 Residents
The residents who live in Bridgeport Public Housing are deeply disappointed in the behavior of Jilian Baldwin and the team at PCC. It is our belief that their recent announcement of the eviction of nearly 2000 residents is an opaque, calculated plan to :
1. improve Park City Community’s HUD status from “Troubled”
2. shift financial responsibility to city, federal and regional funding sources
3. use the lives of the women, children and men who live in PCC as pawns that can be
used to create leverage in a scheme to shift financial responsibility and improve the
optics around how PCC housing operates.
At the same time, PCC remains an irresponsible landlord who does not rise above the
designation of slumlord.
Is PCC Creating a Crisis?
Access to UniteCT funds and state rental assistance to property owners requires an eviction summons in order to access this financial support. We are concerned that PCC’s plan is to create a crisis for individual families in order to gain more financial support. Such a ploy would be dishonest at its core and dangerous to the health and livelihood of the 500 familieswho have been threatened with eviction.
PCC Lacks Transparency in their Financial / Rental Decision Making Resident leadership of public housing in Bridgeport do not have confidence in PCCs ability to
manage the administrative process of assessing who is eligible for eviction status.
Resident Payment Records are unavailable PCC is unable to provide accurate payment histories for residents who have receipts and other proof of payment. It is unfair to move forward with eviction on any resident when housing cannot provide clean records for every household.
PCC’s Assessment of Late Payments Policy places undue burden on low income
families The system for assessing rent is flawed. It favors PCC and not the needs of
low-income housing residents who are already struggling financially. The system
makes it difficult to prove a reduction in rent is warranted, slowing down the process
for residents to get their rent reduced. For example:
● Residents are expected to report every fluctuation in their income.
● Residents experiencing job loss or other crises will have to wait two months
for their rent to reflect a reduction, but PCC routinely increases rent in
real-time when resident income increases. Residents will still have to pay the
higher rent, regardless of the reason they need a rent reduction until this is
● If found that a rent reduction is warranted, there is no retroactive process for
a refund of rent overages.
PCC Lacks Social Service Support for Residents in Need
We are still dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. Park City Communities needs to work harder with people to make arrangements and provide other resources so families can remain in their own homes, in their own communities. Failure to do so will result in an increase in homelessness in Bridgeport, not a reduction.
● In the CT Post, PCC said they helped 100 families, but what happened to the other
400 families? When they evict all 400 families, where are they going to go? PCC
knew that UniteCT had announced 12 months ago that they were no longer taking
applications. Why did PCC not create a plan to help the additional 400 families?
PCC is a Poor Property Manager
If residents are being held accountable for unpaid rents, then housing should be held
accountable for the unsafe living conditions that the residents are being made to live under.
Low-income public housing residents are rent-paying tenants of the Park City Communities and tax-paying residents of the City of Bridgeport. It is time for PCC to stop being slumlords and take seriously their responsibility to provide safe, clean, adequate housing for all of their tenants. With 1⁄5 of PCC tenants being evicted, it is clear that this is not a simple money issue for PCC. Rescuing PCC without holding them responsible as more effective property managers is irresponsible.
HUD Regulations and Documentation HUD regulations also need to be considered. In the calculation of rent, residents pay 30% of their gross and not net income. This net vs gross model is also baked in oppressive systemic failure designed to keep poverty in place.
Rent Calculation Clarity: Additionally, we have tried to ask that residents receive clarity
on rent calculations, proactively. But there has been no move to make this happen. Our residents need facts as they work to improve their economic well-being.
Jillian Baldwin Mission:
Jillian Baldwin is an experienced public housing administrator, known as a “fixer.” We know an important part of her mission is to improve PCC status from “Troubled,” but is her plan to improve status through sleight of hand, or by becoming a better landlord?
How Do Evictions Combat Homelessness?
When resident leaders recently met with Jillian Baldwin, and she wanted community support for a new development, she stated that, despite the concerns of the resident leaders, PCC wanted to make this development happen because of the homeless situation in Bridgeport.
But now she is evicting 20% of PCC tenants and leaving them susceptible to homelessness. This is hypocritical.
We need to nurture each other to keep the community together. We all have to get to the root of the problem. We are willing to work with PCC on solutions.
● In order to start with facts, PCC should be required to provide a detailed report of
the issues that led to this issue.
● PCC Should be required to produce a plan of action that includes input and buy-in
by resident leadership to ensure we will not get to this point again.
● Have a working group that includes residents and their ROSS staff to actively
outreach to residents who will be requested to get support from state housing
funds in order to avoid eviction.
If there is an unwillingness to create a collective response and hold PCC accountable, then we
have one final idea. Perhaps the mayor’s house should be an option to house some residents
being evicted, and he should sleep in the streets and see how it feels.
The above statement was prepared by resident leaders of Park City Communities, which include the following public housing developments: PT Barnum, Trumbull Gardens, Charles F. Green Homes.
This press release was made possible by John Gomes for Mayor, Maria Figueroa, Treasurer.