Bridgeport residents vow to fight back evictions after an out-of-state developer buys multiple properties on the East Side

Residents gathered to rally against no-fault evictions.

Frank Recchia and Nicole Alarcon Soares

Apr 16, 2024, 1:39 AM

Updated 32 days ago


Bridgeport residents say they are vowing to fight back on Monday after an out-of-state developer bought multiple properties on the East Side and is evicting the families who live on them.
Leslie Caraballo, a single-working mother of Bridgeport, says she and 29 other families who live in several properties along East Main Street received eviction notices.
The residents claim the evictions are unreasonable and believe the developer is only buying the properties to renovate and increase the rent.
"I'm fighting this,” Caraballo said. "But what's going to happen now to me? What's going to happen now to my child?"
City Council President Aidee Nieves says the developer has agreed to make concessions.
"This was a very big real estate sale," said Nieves.
The developer told News 12 that the landlord is creating revitalized and affordable housing amidst an epidemic shortage, and the tenants have been given generous offers of free rent to allow them to vacate and transition during the renovation.
Caraballo says there's no allowance made for things such as application fees and a severe shortage of available housing.
"What about my kid? What about the kids here who already have schools?" asks Caraballo.
Luke Melonakos-Harrison, of Connecticut Tenants Union, a grassroots organization made up of tenants organizing for better housing conditions, says he’s standing in solidarity with all the tenants impacted by the no-fault evictions.
"That process of rapid gentrification and profiteering is running rampant in Connecticut right now," said Melonakos-Harrison.
Melonakos-Harrison is joining Caraballo in supporting a bill that would protect tenants against these kinds of no-fault evictions.
Caraballo says she will not leave without a fight.
"I'm going to fight it and I'm going to fight to stay because now that I know my rights, it's not right,” said Caraballo.
Bridgeport City Mayor Joe Ganim has set a goal of creating 6,000 new units of affordable housing over the next six years and is working to re-activate its Fair Rent Commission.
"We want to protect residents. Housing shortages, affordable housing, is a challenge everywhere but especially in our city," said Ganim.

More from News 12