Mayor's Monday Message|
On Friday, the City acquired 129 Clay Street in the first successful foreclosure action under the Anti-Blight Ordinance passed in 2009. The level of blight experienced at 129 Clay Street was unacceptable to the neighborhood and to the City. Foreclosure is not something the City takes lightly, but when an absentee owner refuses to take responsibility for a property, the resulting blight negatively impacts the whole neighborhood. Fortunately, the City now has the ability to assure that this uninhabitable safety hazard and eyesore can be transferred to a responsible owner, and that this property can once again become a safe and affordable home for a New Haven family.
The home at 129 Clay Street has been an eyesore since it became vacant in 2003. With the passage of the Anti-Blight Ordinance in 2009, the City gained the ability to fine nonresponsive property owners up to $100 a day. In addition, the City gained the right to perform necessary maintenance work, bill the property owner, and place a lien on the property. Prior to 2009, the City had been able to fine owners for building code violations, but had limited remedies in cases of serious blight. Anti-blight fines and maintenance fees for 129 Clay Street totaled $61,209 at the time of the foreclosure action.
Fifth Anniversary of the Elm City Resident ID
What It Means to Be a Resident
Five years ago next month, the City began issuing Elm City ID Cards to all New Haven residents. Since then, more than 10,000 cards have been issued, enabling card holders to access basic City services and discounts at local businesses. The cards have also been used as primary identification by residents to open bank accounts at Start Community Bank.
Five years ago, we made a simple statement about what it means to be a New Haven resident. We chose to define our City and what it means to be a part of it not by failed federal immigration policies, but by what we all see and experience every day. We are residents and neighbors and community members here not because of what it says on a piece of paper, but because we raise our families here, worship here, work here, pay taxes here, and send our children to school here. The message of the Elm City Resident ID Card was simple-- if you are a resident here, you should have access to basic City services here.
Five years ago, there were many from outside our community who used the card and our simple message as a platform for hate and ignorance. Residents in Fair Haven were the subject of retaliatory raids by federal immigration agents seeking to undermine our community. Five years later, the success of the card is evident in how mundane it has become. Ten thousand residents gained access to the dump, the ability to take out a library book, and to go for a swim at Lighthouse. Hardly anyone even noticed. Certainly, no one was harmed. Amidst the partisan diatribe that has consumed federal immigration conversations, I hope our mundane Elm City story can serve as one example of how simple it really can be.
The first cards issued in 2007 will now expire in July. Please check the date of your card and make sure to come to the Office of Vital Statistics to renew your card before it expires.
Congratulations to Hillhouse Sophomore Accepted into College
While the New Haven Public Schools prepare to send the next generation of high school seniors off to college, one exceptional Hillhouse High School sophomore has received his own very early college acceptance letter! Fifteen-year-old sophomore Malcolm Jefferson has been accepted to Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The program is home to over 400 highly motivated teenagers who begin a rigorous college education immediately after the tenth or eleventh grade, enabling them to receive a college diploma up to two years ahead of their peers. Great job Malcolm! He's pictured here with Ayana Harry of Fox61 who interviewed him last week about his accomplishment. When she asked him if there's anything he doesn't do, he replied "fail." This kid is going places!
International Festival of Arts & Ideas Returns This Week
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas returns this Saturday, June 16. The 15-day festival occurs each June in New Haven and features performing arts, lectures, and conversations that will spread throughout theaters and open spaces in the city. More than 80 percent of festival events are free. Click here for the festival event calendar.
Seven Out of Ten Homeowners to See Taxes Decrease, Payment Plans Available
Seven out of ten homeowners will notice a decrease in their tax bills this year. At the same time, the City recognizes that property taxes are a hardship for some residents. Please contact the Office of the Tax Collector at 203-946-8054 to discuss a payment plan if you feel you cannot pay your real estate tax bill on time.
Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: 203-946-8200