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Letter: Real affordable housing needed for residents struggling to pay new rents from out of towners



As I negotiate the Flint obstacle course, also known as Pleasant Street, and count the empty or abandoned storefronts, (no fewer than 30), while dodging broken and frost heaved sidewalks and life endangering street crossings, I find it incredulous that Mayor Coogan and his 2nd in command, Mr. Ken Fiola, (I realize that’s not how the City Charter reads, but I call ‘em like I see ‘em), are doing everything in their power to neglect the real needs of our neighborhoods.

I often read of their grand illusion that by adding more and more “market rate” housing,(no parking, but who cares? Shame on you ZBA), will somehow entice the plethora of out-of-town transplants (hopefully) moving into said buildings, so as to marvel at the wonderful offerings of our waterfront. Perhaps they might somehow part with a little of their (projected) $100K+ salaries to stop and buy an ice cream cone while hopefully riding the carousel. Hopefully, that long fought over pier will finally be open and accessible to the public. Though I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are some very positive changes taking place down on the waterfront, I believe it is time to pump the brakes, and put some other options out on the table.

Here’s a novel concept… Why not offer some of the current landlords of the many run-down and empty storefront/apartment buildings, a share of that green gold as well as a TIF or two, to help current owners to re-hab these places into REAL AFFORDABLE housing for those actual residents struggling to meet the new rents being demanded by (mostly) out of town realty conglomerates.

There’s little question that, in ten years, Coogan and his cohorts, (most of them), will be nowhere to be found anywhere near Fall River. They’ll be living off their accrued golden parachutes in places like Boca Raton or Palm Island, or anywhere away from here, while nursing off the city/county/state teat, all funded by the taxpayers.

Mr. Fiola… rather than represent the interests of an Eastern Bloc import from Boston, so as to, in his words, “smooth the permitting process”, why not meet with a few local landlords, you know, your past neighbors like Steve & Sue, Al & Alice, Manny & Maria, Bob & Beth, you know, those pesky property owners who keep the city coffers full, to help “smooth” their way through the process while actually investing to enhance the WHOLE city?

Now, I’m cognizant that this process is likely governed by rules & regulations, put together by our great local/state & national representatives working to satisfy the many PAC’s to whom they are obligated, and who keep them in office, but why not give this a trial run. Try working for the actual city residents for a change.

Fall River



  1. Ken Masson

    October 9, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    What would really help is if the state took this so-called surplus money and use it for low income housing increasing the housing stock and either stabilizing rent prices or even lowering them. We have a serious shortage of housing and a real serious shortage of affordable housing. That shortage effects everybody housing affordability.

  2. MortisMaximus

    October 9, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    To put Ken Fiola in a category with local elected officials is totally off base. Ken Fiola is invested in the people and businesses in Fall River because he is judged on those outcomes. City Hall is only interested in it’s own budgetary pipedreams. Taxes keep rising due to politicians not because of Fiola. Local Politicos will always site what is happening elsewhere to justify what their doing to us here. Inflation is hurting the small business community, the working person but not City Hall. Tax rates and home values are simply raised without regard to citizen’s financial struggles in an effort for City Hall to keep it’s coffers stuffed with our money. Spending these record windfall tax collections is never a problem for the City Hall Elite, raises are a given and the municipal machine is always in need of something new. I would note to anyone who may read this comment that Fall River is run by democraps, has and always will be. Let them claim that they are serving the people. When you open your next tax bill ask who is serving who?

    • Ken Masson

      October 10, 2022 at 8:03 am

      They can only be raised two and a half percent a year making our real estate taxes some of the cheapest in New England. No water taxes have been raised locally or in Massachusetts. Just like your expenses have gone up the city’s expenses have gone up.

      PS, the Democrats don’t give socialist tax cuts to the rich like the Republicans do. I’ll take a Democrat over a fascist Trumpublican any day! If you hate the Democrats so much you’re in the wrong state moron Maximus. If you like a poor education, crumbling infrastructure and horrible wages may I suggest the welfare state of Mississippi. Probably more to your liking! Yep they suck more from the federal government than they give!

      Maybe the real problem is wages have not kept up to the cost of living for years now. The rich keep on getting richer and the rest of us struggled more. But keep on voting for that party of the rich.

  3. MortisMaximus

    October 10, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Ken you have no sense of self. Everything you point to as a success is the exact opposite. Mass. schools are a failure. Mass. Infrastructure is failing. Fall Rivers water and sewer taxes rise every year. Proposition 2 1/2 is a false narrative by simply passing a debt override. Everything you say is false and Antifa dis-info. The people can see the reality that Massachusetts is a communist indoctrination camp. When it comes to inflation the reality is the more money that is printed the less value the previous supply retains. You can personally attack me as your words have little value due to the fact that you are a liberal agitator. Keep it up with your lies and falsehoods, it just shows there is no value in the liberal socialist panacea of delusion.

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