Letter: End of Stern Village as we know it?

To the Editor:

Last Monday was a sad but historic day which may change how Stern Village looks and feels and who gets the chance to live there. Even the name may be changed through what the Executive Director Harriet Polansky, has euphemistically referred to as “rebranding.”

The Trumbull Housing Authority voted at its Commissioners’ meeting on Monday, March 23rd, to create Stern Village Housing Associates, Limited Partnership and Trumbull Housing Development Corporation. The effect of this action will be to inexorably change the existing friendly and somewhat quaint but durable red brick housing facility, for low-income elderly and disabled tenants, to a substantially redesigned New England Style complex, including a few upgraded amenities, intended to attract investors and tenants from a higher segment of the rental market and still be called “affordable housing”.

The question is, was this First Selectman Timothy Herbst’s creative idea, back in December, 2012, when he over-threw the THA board, ordering the firing of THA attorney, then state Sen. Anthony Musto, buying out the contract of the previous director, Harry Wise, appointing a whole new board and bringing in Harriet Polansky to be director? Many think Mr. Herbst had not only this housing plan in mind, but also a new building, combining the library, senior center and youth center and envisioning a new building for the Trumbull Nature and Art Center as his legacy to the Town of Trumbull.

Yet to be answered is why a cosmetic makeover, estimated at $30 million, which destroys a much needed resource for the elderly with low incomes necessary.

Wouldn’t it be a better plan to have both for the same amount of money and expand the supply of affordable housing in Trumbull?

I propose that the First Selectman take the Limited Partnership and Development Corporation and build the affordable housing as planned on land that the town owns.

Paul Littlefield