Non profit living

On Fairfield, CT exclusivity suffers

I grew up in Fairfield. It was idyllic – right by the beach, where our next door neighbour’s house recently sold for just under a million dollars and was demolished to make way for a McMansion of 2, 8 million – one of the houses generally referred to as “monstrosities” by longtime residents.

Dad paid $28,000 for a tiny two-story house in 1965. I walked to school, rode my bike, climbed trees, and every fourth of July we sat in our garden and watched the fireworks. Neighborhood children strolled in a cheerful pack back and forth through connected backyards. We were working class or petty bourgeoisie. We all near the beach. Small capes, ranches, multi-level homes with unassuming families.

When I visit Fairfield now, it’s unrecognizable. It’s heartbreaking. The air of exclusivity is stifling. I angrily read the opinion pieces denouncing the development of the 1030g case. people like my family made Fairfield, the place where others wanted to live. Middle-income teachers, firefighters, small-town grocers, retailers – these are the people who built the Mayberry-that-was. And the NIMBYs who live there and want to exclude *us* think they can do better? The idea that money somehow makes a better class of humans mystifies me. More than that, I recognize it as a spiritual lie.

And the “affordability” of these rental units that are on offer is by no means affordable to a teacher or a customer service representative, but that is a topic for another day.

I am a real estate agent. The number of good, well-educated, hard-working people desperately looking for an affordable apartment or house is depressing. I have a series of people online who are willing and ready to buy or rent, but who are stuck in substandard housing because they can’t afford decent housing. A decent place to live. A place with decent schools and a safe neighborhood. That shouldn’t be too much to ask of anyone.

I grew up in Fairfield. I went to a very good university and I have a degree in political science. I’m an artist, a writer and I’m good at languages. I am a walking dictionary. Although my fortunes have recently improved, for most of my life (I’m 61), I couldn’t hope to afford to live in Fairfield. I am the person that the NIMBYs would like to exclude from their little paradise: a paradise that I helped create.

Fairfield must be a good citizen. Exclusivity is a horrible collective concept that belies the values ​​professed by the city. If “Hate” really “Has No Home Here”, if “Black Lives Matter” (but not in my backyard), then join in the talk. Otherwise, just put a different sign on the town green: “Wealthy Whites Only”.

Alycia Keating is an estate agent in Derby.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.