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Gov. Malloy Announces Award Recipients for Competitive Affordable Homeownership Funding Round

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein today announced that 17 applications have been selected for funding under the department's Affordable Homeownership round.  The $30 million in funding will create homeownership opportunities for eligible individuals and families across the state.

"Affordable housing strengthens communities, creating neighborhoods where families and individuals can find stability, gain employment, and build a brighter long-term future," Governor Malloy said.  "Investing in quality housing and opportunities such as these can improve thousands of lives and help further Connecticut's progress."

The successful applicants in this affordable homeownership round include new construction or rehabilitation projects and programs that finance the construction, purchase, or rehabilitation of homeownership units, critical improvements necessary for accessibility for owner-occupants, and owner-occupied small multi-family properties and programs that help bring homeownership within reach of moderate income individuals and families.  Assisted properties must be owner-occupied, comprising one to four units that create or preserve affordable housing.

"As a department, we are tasked with ensuring that the residents of Connecticut have access to safe, quality, and affordable housing," Commissioner Klein said.  "The affordable homeownership funding round presents the unique opportunity to create affordable homeownership, not only in our cities, but also in our smaller municipalities.  Initiatives and programs like this one give hard working individuals and families a chance to own their own home."

DOH allocated $20 million to seven statutorily designated cities, including Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, New London, and New Britain.  The remaining $10 million was available to all other towns and cities across the state.

The successful applicants are:

New Haven Habitat Homebuilding Initiative - $525,000
DOH will provide Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven, Inc. up to $525,000 to assist in the new construction of 6 single-family homes in the Hill North neighborhood and one rehabilitation of a historic property in the Fairhaven Heights neighborhood of New Haven.  The units will be constructed on infill lots in the small, densely built neighborhood that has easy walking access to New Haven's vibrant downtown and the Metro North/ Amtrak station. The homes will be Energy Star compliant and will create homeownership opportunities for 7 families and individuals at or below 60% of the area median income.

Cityscape VI, Hartford - $2,525,674
Pope Park Zion LLC (PPZ) will receive up to $2,525,674 for its Cityscape Homes, Phase VI project on multiple streets in Hartford's Frog Hollow, Barry Square, and Behind the Rocks neighborhoods. The project will create 11 homeownership opportunities, all of which are two-family buildings where rental income makes the homes more affordable.  A total of twenty-two affordable housing units will be created, with one fully renovated and ten newly constructed two-family homes.  Each home will be Energy Star compliant, with a three-bedroom ownership unit and a two-bedroom rental unit.  The area is transit-oriented and is in close proximity to the CTfastrak.   PPZ plans to build on the past success of the Cityscape Homeownership initiative which has developed over 60 homes.  Cityscape projects are designed to reduce neighborhood blight, increase homeownership, improve the city's tax base, and encourage private investment in the area.

South Norwalk Homeownership Program - $850,000
The Northwalke Housing Corporation, a development subsidiary of the City of Norwalk, will receive up to $850,000 to initiate a homeownership program in South Norwalk.  The goal of the South Norwalk Homeownership Program is to create homeownership opportunities for moderate income families through the purchase, rehabilitation and resale of small 2-4 family properties within a half-mile radius of the South Norwalk Train Station. Proximity to the train station will provide easy access to mass transit for both owners and renters while preserving existing affordability in the rapidly developing South Norwalk neighborhood.

Home New London - $2,587,000
Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities (ECHO) will receive up to $2,587,000 for its Home New London first-time homebuyer program.  ECHO will acquire and rehabilitate twenty-two houses on scattered sites in the City of New London, and will prioritize properties that are abandoned or that have been foreclosed upon by another lender.  ECHO has previously rehabilitated or constructed over fifty properties.  The program will address the low rate of homeownership in the city and eliminate blight. 

City Flats New London - $1,100,000
DOH will provide up to $1,100,000 to City Flats, LLC to finance an urban revitalization program focused on New London's historic Merchants Block neighborhood. The transit-oriented neighborhood is in close proximity to the New London train station and ferry docks.  The project strives to create a critical mass of 60 fully-renovated historic buildings containing high-quality owner-occupied condominiums. DOH funds will leverage $8,800,000 of private loan and equity funds.  Thirty of the condominiums will remain affordable for 15 years to individuals and families earning up to 100% of the area median income.

Habitat Neighborhood Build 1 & 2, Bridgeport, - $1,725,000
DOH will fund two proposals submitted by the Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, Inc. in an aggregate amount up to $1,725,000 to build 23 affordable homeownership units. The units will be constructed on blighted and vacant infill lots throughout the City of Bridgeport that are in close proximity to city and state supported revitalization efforts such as the proposed Barnum train station and Seaview Avenue Corridor Redevelopment. The Habitat Neighborhood Build 1 & 2 projects will consist of Energy Star rated units with a mix of single family homes and duplexes, all sold to first-time home buyers whose incomes are at or below 80% of the area median income.    

Hartford Affordable Housing Project - $500,500
DOH will provide up to $500,500 to Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity to build seven single-family affordable houses in the City of Hartford for first-time homebuyers.  The project will consist of two duplex units and three stand-alone single family units in Neighborhood Revitalization Zones that are characterized by a low homeownership rate.   Each housing unit will be an Energy Star-rated structure and will incorporate green building techniques.  All of the homeowners will have incomes of less than 80% of area median income, will perform 150 hours of "sweat equity" helping to construct their homes, and will receive 50 hours of homebuyer education. 

2015 Homeownership Initiative, New Haven - $1,750,000
DOH will provide Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, Inc. up to $1,750,000 to assist in the development of 17 homeownership units, 9 of which include rental units. The 17 homes will be rehabilitated to increase the rate of homeownership and reduce blight in the Newhallville, Hill and Dwight neighborhoods.  Ten of these homes are listed on the State Historic Preservation Registry and a few of the homes have already been acquired through foreclosure.   The homes will be sold to homeowners earning at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

Overlook Village, Hartford - $5,000,000
Overlook Village Associates, LLC will receive up to $5,000,000 for the construction of 29 new homeownership units in 13 buildings, representing the first phase of housing designed to eliminate the existing uninhabitable buildings located on Nahum Drive.  The homeownership units will be affordable to individuals and families at or below 100% of the area median income. This project will provide pedestrian friendly streetscapes and will be a catalyst for revitalizing the Blue Hills neighborhood.

Neighborhood Renewal Program Phase II, New Haven - $2,475,000
The City of New Haven will be provided up to $2,475,000 to augment its established Neighborhood Renewal Program that provides housing development subsidies for units in the Newhallville, Dixwell and West Rock neighborhoods. The program will increase homeownership rates in areas that have extremely high rental housing stock and to decrease utility costs by building energy efficient units. The funds will create 23 new homeownership units.  The DOH investment will be used to leverage local public and private partners, including education institutions, private and non-profit developers, and the local housing authority.

PATH New Haven Region - $1,650,000
DOH will provide up to $1,650,000 to the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, Inc. (GNHCLF) to construct or rehabilitate up to 20 units of single family housing for sale to eligible homebuyers earning less than 100% of the area median income in moderate, high and very high opportunity areas in five New Haven County towns.  The "Providing Avenues to Homeownership" program (PATH) will include the towns of Milford, Hamden, Guilford, Branford and Wallingford. PATH will create healthy, quality, energy efficient, and affordable homeownership opportunities in these suburban communities. The PATH program will enable developers to purchase and renovate existing distressed houses and make substantial repairs as needed to provide healthy, energy saving, low maintenance, and affordable housing options. PATH will also finance new construction projects that will be built with quality materials and workmanship, energy efficiency, and ease of maintenance in mind.

Accessing Home Ownership - $1,600,000
The ACCESS Agency, Inc. will be provided up to $1,600,000 to support 13 potential homebuyers at or below 100% of the area median income in higher opportunity areas in the Windham and Tolland County communities.  The program will entail the new construction of 4 single family homes and the rehabilitation of 9 properties to remedy code violations and to insure that homes meet DOH's property standards.

Statewide Downpayment Assistance - $3,000,000
DOH will provide Housing Development Fund, Inc. (HDF) up to $3,000,000 to implement the Statewide Down Payment Assistance Program. The program will provide down payment and closing cost assistance financing to eligible and qualified households earning up to 100% of the area median income.  This program will help close affordability gaps and increase access to homeownership opportunities statewide.

Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut Affordable Homeownership Program - $250,000
DOH will provide $250,000 to assist 4 homeownership units in moderate to very high opportunity areas in New London and Windham Counties.  Partnerships with local families earning 30-50% of the area median income, volunteers and donors to rehabilitate and build safe, decent and affordable homes are a crucial component to the success of this program. Homes will be sold to local low income families through no-profit mortgages, and mortgage payments are in turn recycled to support more homes.

CIL Loans for Accessibility - $1,900,000
The Corporation for Independent Living (CIL) will receive up to $1,900,000 to continue the statewide Grants for Accessibility program.  This program has been in operation since 1986 and has provided accessibility modifications to more than 500 homes of individuals with disabilities.  By creating accessibility within and outside the home, the program enables people with disabilities and their families to lead more independent, engaged, and productive lives.  It is anticipated that this funding will allow 30 homes to be modified.

Rocky Corner Cohousing, Bethany - $2,600,000
DOH will provide up to $2,600,000 to Green Haven, Inc. to support this cohousing development in Bethany. The development will be arranged in clustered structures scattered throughout approximately 4 acres of the 33-acre site and 13 units will be restricted as affordable to households at or below 100% of the area median income.  Homes will be privately owned, with common outdoor space and a large common house.  The physical design is created to encourage a balance of both social contact and individual privacy.  Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes but residents also have access to extensive common facilities. While cohousing developments nationwide are achieving success, this is the first such effort in Connecticut.

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