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Sound Bites: Evictions are on the rise in Fairfield County

People hold signs opposing evictions on Thursday in New York City.
Stephanie Keith
Getty Images
People hold signs opposing evictions on Thursday in New York City.

Good morning. Evictions are increasing beyond pre-pandemic levels in Fairfield County — with almost 21,000 cases filed in 2023 statewide. 

According to The Eviction Lab, evictions were 5% higher than pre-COVID years in Connecticut. That includes 12% more evictions in Fairfield County and 10% more in Hartford County. Most eviction cases are due to tenants being unable to pay rent amid high housing costs. Housing advocates are calling for the expansion of laws to protect tenants. 

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing:

Transgender and nonbinary New Yorkers face severe employment discrimination,  according to the Transgender Employment Study. The study found that these workers faced more barriers when seeking employment compared to cisgender residents and often received lower incomes and threats in the workplace. The study suggests New York create workforce development programs to assist transgender and nonbinary workers and mandate gender expression training across the state.

Advocates want to expand a Connecticut bill that allows parents to run their own child care centers. Currently, the bill only allows residents in New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Hartford, New Britain, Danbury and Waterbury to open child care centers. The Connecticut Project, a social change organization, hopes to expand the program to more cities and extend its 2026 expiration date in order to provide more affordable care to struggling families.

The Town of Oyster Bay plans to seize four Hicksville properties through eminent domain. Oyster Bay previously offered $1.32 million to the property owners on Herzog Place and Jerusalem Ave, but they sought a higher sale. The properties would be torn down and be used for public parking as part of the town’s $10 million downtown renewal effort.

New London’s newspaper finalized the sale of its historic headquarters to High Tide Capital LLC last week. The near 120-year-old, 65,000-square-foot building sold for $1.875 million. The Day newspaper is expected to use money from the sale to pay off debt and purchase a new building in the city.

Long Island businesses are worried about the rising minimum wage. The state is scheduled to implement a minimum wage increase to $17 by 2026. Many business owners say these increases will hurt their ability to make profit and compete against out-of-state businesses. State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said the wage increase will help workers deal with high inflation and housing costs.

Boing-oing-oing! UConn alumni and fans will finally be able to own their very own copy of mascot Jonathan the Husky in bobbleheads form. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the University of Connecticut mascot this week. The figurines are limited to 2,024 units, cost $30 each, and are expected to ship in April.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.