Bridgeport man faces fines, arrest for building tiny home on public property
A Bridgeport man is facing the state of Connecticut in a legal battle over a small house he built on public property.
The case is generating interest in both Hartford and Washington.
Take a walk-through City Hall Park off Golden Hill Street in the shadow of Saint Augustine Cathedral and you would almost certainly not notice it -- at least at first.
That's because this little house is hidden away in the tree line separating the park from the Route 8/25 connector.
The only way to get to it without climbing over the fence is by invitation of the man who built the house almost 2 years ago, 63-year-old Chris Morse.
Morse built his with the help of his friend Troy Howlett.
Morse says housing conditions got so bad at the last apartment he lived in thagt he decided to find a nice quiet spot in the woods and build his own little house, even though he's well aware this is state property.
"Me and my friend Troy made trips with shopping carts to both Home Depots. We wheeled plywood, two-by-fours all the way from the dock shopping center in Stratford," Morse recalls.
Morse says he grows his own food in the garden which is just a few hundred feet from the Old Bridgeport City Hall, but he says authorities have now told him he must vacate the property by Monday or face a fine and possible arrest.
Morse says there's a grass-roots legal effort underway to at least delay his eviction so he can find alternate housing.
"There's no doubt about the housing crisis that his situation really symbolizes and that's why we have work to do in providing decent fair housing," says Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Morse says the odds are stacked against him, but at least his case is putting a spotlight on the state's critical shortage of affordable housing.
"Now I feel like I have a chance," he says.
Meanwhile, Blumenthal says, regardless of Morse's legal position, he's doing everything he can to help him with the situation.