Letter: Trumbull housing plan fail to score on the money

To the Editor:

In The Stern Village Voice,  newsletter, Sept. 1, we seniors living in the Trumbull Housing Authority SternVillage low-income housing facility, were told that we did not receive the $30 million in federal funding Mr. Herbst was relying on to overhaul Stern Village. This was no surprise. There was only $120 million available to create low-income housing for the whole state, and Herbst’s plan didn’t add a single new unit of housing to justify using one-quarter of that money just for Trumbull. His plan would also have raised the base rent, thereby excluding otherwise qualified prospects.

It’s no surprise that no explanation was given for not qualifying for the funds and I figure Mr. Herbst will try to blame it on someone else. But once more he got our hopes up and failed to deliver. He promised that improving the THA was his first priority and campaigned for Councilman Constantini on the promise that he would get us state funds for paving Hedgehog Circle and fixing the walkways.

But Mr. Herbst already has $2 million of state funds that he could spend on fixing our walkways or paving the street and he won’t do it. If we seniors are his first priority, why is he keeping the money instead of making the repairs as he promised?

It’s not a surprise that a lot of time, energy and the tenants’ rent money were spent on pursuing the federal funds which could have been spent on more realistic goals, or have spent the funds already accumulated. Mr. Herbst could have worked to find smaller grants or private funds. Instead, all this time and effort was spent on one big plan that had no chance of working.

As I testified to the Town Council, the proposal was DOA, dead on arrival. And our walkways are still broken and dangerous. Herbst got a lot of press, but as usual, nothing came of it.

In his last campaign, only two years ago, Mr. Herbst got our hopes up by saying that he would give us a tax break on our cars. That didn’t happen either. While it is no surprise that Mr. Herbst keeps making these promises to seniors in election months, what is a surprise is why we keep on believing him.
Paul Littlefield