The administration of New Britain's Mayor Erin Stewart has been commended for its efforts to promote fair rent practices in the city. Although the Fair Rent Commission is unable to handle certain complaints regarding excessive rent, the mayor's team has devised creative solutions to ensure fairness without relying solely on the ordinance.
One of the major obstacles faced by the Fair Rent Commission is its inability to accept complaints from tenants who have back rent due, have already agreed to rent through signed leases, or who are already in the process of being evicted. Mayor Stewart's administration acknowledges this issue and has taken measures to ensure fair rent practices beyond the commission.
The mayor's office has collaborated with landlords to encourage them to offer payment plans for tenants who are behind on their rent, thereby avoiding evictions and enabling tenants to catch up with their payments. Additionally, the administration has partnered with local community organizations to provide financial aid to those struggling to pay their rent.
Another vital initiative by the mayor's office has been to provide resources to tenants to better understand their rights and navigate the rental process. This includes conducting workshops and information sessions on how to read and understand lease agreements, negotiate rent increases, and file complaints with the Fair Rent Commission if necessary.
Moreover, Mayor Stewart's administration has utilized funds provided by The CARES ACT to invest in eviction mediation services during the COVID-19 pandemic, with New Britain contributing $91,150 towards this effort. According to the mayor in August 2020, these funds will help both tenants and landlords come to reasonable agreements with each other, with the Community Services office facilitating the process through its fair housing technician and new eviction mediator.
While the Fair Rent Commission faces certain limitations in addressing fair rent practices in New Britain, Mayor Stewart's administration has adopted a proactive and innovative approach to safeguard tenants' rights. Through partnerships with landlords, community organizations, and city departments, the administration has found ways to promote fairness and support tenants who are struggling financially.
Overall, Mayor Erin Stewart's administration's diligent work to promote fair rent practices in New Britain deserves recognition and gratitude from the community. Their efforts to devise creative solutions to the challenges faced by the Fair Rent Commission have ensured that tenants in the city are treated equitably and with respect.