Why tear down comfortable housing in Bridgeport?

To the Editor:

Bridgeport and state officials demolished 1,063 warm, comfortable homes in Father Panik Village, 250 additional homes in the Pequonnock Village.

Now Mayor Bill Finch, Rep. U.S. Jim Himes and Sen. Richard Blumenthal support the destruction of Marina Village. They claim the entire sprawling complex has deteriorating brick buildings, and must be torn down because it is the home of gang members and drug dealers and “averages several shootings every year.”

I simply cannot understand why these educated, intelligent, men agree that the only way to handle a festering drug problem is by tearing down the entire villages. Marina Village is next and then there are others being considered for destruction, just to eliminate gangs and drug dealers.

Doesn’t anyone question why brick buildings only 47 years old have deteriorated? We know tens of millions of brick buildings have weathered centuries of storms.

These comfortable, air conditioned, heated homes were far more livable than apartments my family lived in. People complained about the odor of urine in the buildings halls and elevators. My family was never fortunate enough to have an elevator, and our children were trained to use toilets.

Our cold water apartments required that we carry kerosene stoves to heat freezing rooms. We had no hot water. Cold water was heated on a coal stove for cooking and bath. For many years my grandmother’s home had no indoor plumbing. The freezing cold walk to the winter outhouse provided an unforgettable experience. Inexpensive traps control mice and rodents, and cleanliness stops mold.

Destroying Bridgeport’s low income housing will waste hundreds of thousands more taxpayer dollars. It will require families, drug dealers and gang members to move, until new, more comfortable homes can be constructed.


Dick De Witt


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