The state’s low-income renters rallied at the state Capitol Thursday to demand that $3.9 million in payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, PILOT, be restored in the state budget.
If it’s not restored, “Some of our state’s poorest residents will face devastatingly large rent increases,” said Jeffrey Freiser, executive director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition. He said while the state’s coffers swelled with a billion dollar surplus this year, it singled-out 23 public housing complexes for these cuts. He said the governor gets to keep the PILOT money for her mansion in Hartford and there’s even money for a historic home in Guilford.
But there’s no money for people like Rose Price who resides at Bowles Park in Hartford.
Price said that without this money a lot of the residents who live off Nahum Drive would be homeless. “Why would the state do something that will cause these huge rent increases, when it has a billion dollar surplus?”
Tenants paying the base rate of $313 per month in Bowles Park will see a $64 monthly increase in their rent if the $3.9 million is not restored.
State Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, said over the years this money has consistently been kept in the budget, but this year Gov. M. Jodi Rell has refused to sign an emergency declaration for this money.
Rell’s office was not immediately available for a response.
Bill Callion, director of public safety, health, and welfare in the City of Stamford, said the state made these cuts on “the backs of people who need it the most.” He said people should not have to choose to get three or four part-time jobs to pay the rent.