The City of West Haven, Connecticut is an established suburban primarily residential community located immediately west of New Haven and approximately 70 miles east of New York City. It is directly on Long Island Sound and is traversed by Interstate 95 and State Route 1. The City is 10.5 square miles and is one of the most densely populated municipalities in the State. Its current population of 54,021 is holding steady with a sizable elderly population and a minority population of 14%. The housing stock is varied with the oldest and most fully developed residential areas in the northerly and easterly sections. Much of the city's housing is pre-1970 units.
The City of West Haven's Consolidated Plan includes a One Year Action Plan that advances the goals and objectives reflected in the Five Year Strategic Plan. The Action Plan budgets $771,000 in Community Development Block Grant entitlement funds, primarily in housing acquisition assistance/rehabilitation and activities to enhance neighborhoods. The City does not received HOME, ESG, HOPWA, or HOPE funds.
A mayoral appointed Citizen Advisory Committee (representing city
neighborhoods, service recipients and special interests) serves as the focal
point of the City's Citizen Participation process. Procedurally, the process is
divided into two separate but concurrent parts: the Consolidated Plan (Strategic
Plan) and the Action Plan (CDBG funding). The Community Development
Administration (CDA) oversees the City's CDBG program and serves as the lead
agency for both the Strategic and Action Plan(s) development. Commencing in
November 1994, a total of five public hearings and one thirty day comment period
preceded Legislative adoption of the Consolidated Plan on April 25, 1995.
Additional citizen input was sought via an extensive mail survey to all known
neighborhood, city-wide and regional organizations or agencies with an interest
in housing or community development needs.
West Haven is located in New Haven County, approximately 70 miles east of New York City. 10.5 square miles in area, the City is bounded on the north and east by the City of New Haven and New Haven Harbor, on the west by the Towns of Orange and Milford and on the south by Long Island Sound. West Haven has over three miles of public beaches and is home to the University of New Haven, the Veterans Administration Medical Center and Bayer Laboratory.
The 1990 population of 54,021 was 84% white, 12% black and 3% Hispanic and
1% other minorities. While the overall population has not increased
significantly in the past 10 years, the percentages of minorities and Hispanic
persons has shown a steady increase. Median family income was $42,750 with
31.5% of the population at or below the low/moderate income level.
Recent population estimates reflect a level (or decreasing) population vis a vis the 1990 census. In 1990, the City faced a severe financial crisis with a resulting drop in bond rating. Since that time, a series of layoffs, new labor contracts and other cost saving measures has returned the City to solvency and restored the bonding rating. However the lingering economic decline of the northeast in general and of Connecticut in particular continues to point out the need to stabilize and then expand the municipal tax base. At the foundation of the property tax base is the owner-occupied unit. Property tax revenue provides 61% of the city's revenues (as of 1994-95). As much as 42% is realized from residential units. It is vital to the city's long term financial well-being to maintain existing owner housing stock and provide for increase through sale or new construction. Creating an attractive housing market of this nature will have an expanded benefit to economic development by making West Haven a desirable place to work as well as live.
Housing problems in West Haven arise from inadequate income for home ownership and/or maintenance as well as an inadequate tax base. Long range objectives focus on improving the opportunity to purchase a home (especially first time buyers) improving/eliminate substandard conditions and expand the tax base to lessen the burden on individual home owners.
Housing priorities for this fiscal year include Substantial Rehabilitation of owner- occupied units, moderate rehabilitation for rental units, direct homeownership assistance and rental assistance. Aid to alleviate homelessness will continue to come via existing programs for temporary housing.
The non-housing needs of the City are reflected in its Five year Capital Improvement Plan and include: upgrade of the entire Water Pollution Control system, conversion of a vacant building into a new Community/Cultural Center, improvements to existing recreational facilitates and a privately financed redevelopment of a mixed use area of the City. The latter will seek to change largely vacant, underutilized or abandoned housing into an economically viable mixture of commercial, industrial and housing use.
There are several social service agencies and/or programs that are available to households below the poverty line. Given its proximity to New Haven, not all these programs are based in West Haven but all are available to West Haven residents.
Taken together, these agencies West Haven Fair Rent Commission, Community Mediation Services, New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA), West Haven Community House, W.H.E.A.T.
Currently the primary financial resources for implementation of established ConPlan priorities is the C.D.B.G. To a lesser extent, the City provides support via its Welfare and Human Resources Department. Private non-profit social service agencies (e.g. W.H.E.A.T., West Haven Community House, Clifford Beers Satellite Clinic) will assist through their own resources.
The Community Development Administration is responsible for the coordination
needed to develop the Strategic Plan and for administering the C.D.B.G. program
which is the prime financial resource. Actual implementation of services is
predominately done by sub- contractors operating under Community Development
The FY 95-96 Action Plan utilizes $771,000 in C.D.B.G. and $58,000 in program income to implement the goals of the Strategic Plan. Houisng components make up the majority of funded activities:
|2.||West Haven Housing Authority||$ 50,000|
|3.||Downpayment Assistance Program||$100,000|
|4.||West Haven Public Library Accessible Entrance||$ 54,000|
|5.|| Public Services; including legal aid assistance, community|
enrichment and recreational programs and a variety
of social services
The locations are in low/moderate residential areas, though none of these section(s) has been designated as a targeted area above the others. C.D.A. expects to provide 20 low interest rehab loans and up to 12 downpayment assistance loans (once implementation commences; an additional 100 households will be served by C.D.B.G. funded support services.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects in addition: a table provides information about the project(s).
MAP 6 depicts neighborhood streets and proposed HUD funded projects, as described in the table under MAP 5.