A project in Litchfield.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration awarded 13 cities and towns a total of $13 million Thursday to finance housing rehabilitation to support low- and moderate-income households.

“These grants go a long way toward improving neighborhoods so that we can make our communities more attractive and encourage continued growth for the benefit of all of our residents,” Lamont said.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant  Small Cities program. The distribution of those funds in Connecticut is administered by the state Department of Housing, which awards specific grants.

Without those federal dollars, Connecticut likely would not be able to assist as many low- and moderate income residents as it currently does, said state Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno.

“Whether it’s helping a family to complete essential renovations on their homes such as repairing a leaking roof, making a senior living facility ADA compliant, or improving the habitability of a domestic violence shelter — CDBG Small Cities funding is an important program,” the commissioner said.

Projects eligible for Small Cities program funding must be located within a municipality with fewer than 50,000 residents and must focus on eliminating blight, attracting economic development and on overall neighborhood improvement.

Rehabilitation awards and recipients include:

  • $800,000 for energy and safety related improvements for 23 units at the the Cherry Hill Apartments in Chester. This will include replacement of doors, windows heating pumps and siding, handicapped access upgrades, minor painting and sidewalk and parking repaving.
  • $1 million to create three new handicap code-compliant residential units and to make upgrades to the community building at CiCia Manor in Derby.
  • $650,000 for handicapped accessibility upgrades and other bathroom improvements at Park Hill in East Windsor.
  • $175,000 for electrical system upgrades at the Green Valley Village and Laurel Park complexes in Enfield.
  • $900,000 for general renovations to New Horizons Village, a Farmington housing community for low- and moderate income residents with disabilities.
  • $1.5 million for handicapped access improvements and other upgrades to Mystic River Homes in Groton.
  • $350,000 for staff to run a shelter diversion program to serve the Greater New Haven Coordinated Access Network.
  • $700,000 to install highly insulated doors, replace water heaters, install a solar panel and make various site improvements at Stone Craft Manor in Hebron.
  • $1.5 million to support the second phase of upgrades to the Concord Meadows complex in Madison.
  • $1.5 million to modernize the Centerview Village and Woodmoor Manor senior housing complexes in Plainville.
  • $1.1 million to make heating and ventilation improvements and bathroom accessibility renovations to the Harry Stern Center, a 36-unit housing project in Trumbull.
  • $1.3 million for site improvements, roof replacement new windows and lighting, fire alarm upgrades and other improvements at John Savage Common in Wallingford.
  • And $1.5 million to continue modernization of Nathan Hale Terrace, a 100-unit rental community for low- and moderate income households in Windham.

The release of this funding is as expected and does not signal a broader agenda for the Lamont administration surrounding housing. The Department of Housing is, however, considering repurposing how this federal pool of funding is spent but has not provided any details other than to say it is being looked at.

Despite the announcement of these grants, the Lamont administration has yet to release a broad policy agenda surrounding housing. Housing advocates have said Lamont’s proposed “debt diet,” which would restrict state borrowing in several areas, could hinder future affordable housing development.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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