Increase Affordable Housing
Whether you are a young adult looking to rent your first apartment, a family eager to buy your first home, or a couple who have lived in Stamford for decades, no one should feel that our city is unaffordable. Unfortunately, in recent years, too many people are being priced out and squeezed out of neighborhoods they have lived in, in some cases, for decades.
As a State Representative, I have been a fierce advocate for programs that reduce the property tax burden on seniors, help young people afford to live in CT, and support rental and mortgage relief for those negatively impacted by COVID-19. As your mayor, I will fight every day to make Stamford a more livable and affordable city for all residents by taking the following actions:
Holding developers accountable to Stamford residents and ensuring that any development is smart, inclusive, and sustainable.
Leveraging partnerships with the state and federal government to secure additional support for housing grants that are a first step towards increased affordability.
Working with the state to expand rental relief for residents impacted by COVID-19.
Prioritizing property tax relief programs for seniors and low-income residents.
Advancing community land trust opportunities to expand more permanent affordable housing and cooperative housing opportunities.
Watch Caroline's video about affordability in Stamford.
"Whether you are a recent graduate trying to afford your first apartment, a working family struggling to afford a down payment on your first home, or a senior citizen struggling to remain in the city you’ve called home for years, affordability is a concern for everyone. I know that we need to take steps to make Stamford a more affordable place because even while Stamford is prospering as a city, and we are attracting more businesses and new residents each day because of the vibrancy of our community, we cannot allow others to be pushed out because of the cost of living.
That is why I want to share a few steps I will take as Mayor to fight for all residents to have a fair shake at living in this incredible city.
First – we need to address a top issue for everyone: property taxes. Stamford already has a Property Tax Relief Program, but it is currently limited to residents aged 65 and older, who make below $80,000 a year. In its current state, the program is not widely used by the people it is meant to help.
As Mayor, I would undertake a review of this program: assess the greatest needs in our community and then evaluate how we expand the benefits. This may include increasing the amount of relief or changing the qualifications for the program, but most important is making sure residents know about this meaningful and currently underused relief program. Stamford is made better when more of our residents own a home, and as Mayor I will do everything I can to increase home ownership.
Second – we need to address the cost of rent in our city. We know that 30% of Stamford’s residents are rent constrained and we need to make sure we have different types of rental properties available for residents, not just luxury high rises. As State Representative, I’ve fought for rental relief for residents and landlords this past year and I will continue to do everything I can to provide more rental subsidies to residents who are struggling.
Finally - we must make sure that all of our residents have a voice in this discussion. Residents over the age of 65 make up roughly 15 percent of the city, and they deserve to have their concerns heard by our local government. In 2004, Stamford had a Commission on Aging, but this. commission has become inactive.
As Mayor, I would work with our Board of Representatives to advance a proposal to create an advocacy group known as the Senior Advisory Board. This Advisory Board will be made up of senior citizens and people who live or work in Stamford and support our senior residents. The advisory board will represent the interests of senior citizens in our city, coordinate services with organizations in town, and make policy recommendations for how to best help our senior residents.
While we will continue to make progress attracting new residents and new businesses to our city, we must never take for granted all of those that live here now and make this such a special place to call home. We can’t forget that many of our neighbors wake up every day worried about making ends meet and being able to afford the cost of living. They need a Mayor that is going to tackle these problems each and every day and be committed to taking bold action on their behalf.
This work has been at the core of my service as State Representative, the policies for which I’ve advocated, and it will be what I wake up thinking about each day as Mayor."