Successful Revitalization Efforts Net a Redeveloped Housing Complex

[Photo: Stonington Acres housing complex in Hartford, CT]
Stonington Acres housing complex in Hartford, CT

On March 29, 2016, HUD's Field Office Director Suzanne Piacentini joined CT Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein; Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) Executive Director Karl Kilduff; project owner, Sheldon Oak Central; along with other local and community leaders, tax credit investors and private lenders to celebrate the completion of an extensive rehabilitation and grand re-opening of Stonington Acres, a mixed-income housing development located in Hartford, CT's Sheldon-Charter Oak neighborhood.

Initially named Twin Acres, the property was acquired in 1994 and is one of the most amazing redevelopment successes ever taken by Sheldon Oak Central. At the time of acquisition, the property was dilapidated with high vacancy rates. While repairs were undertaken at the time of purchase, as time went on it was clear that more extensive repairs were needed to reposition and preserve this affordable housing asset. The purchase and first redevelopment of Twin Acres initiated a renaissance in the neighborhood that included Dutch Point, a HUD HOPE VI homeownership property, as well as the acquisition and rehabilitation of two former HUD properties, Martin Luther King and Sheldon Oak Co-op, which were both sold to Sheldon Oak Central and rehabilitated under HUD's then property disposition programs.

Fast forward to 2014 and it was clear the project that spurred the initial neighborhood revitalization was in need of a more extensive plan. The owner was successful in its Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application and in leveraging city of Hartford HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) funds and support from the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund (CHIF), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Red Stone Equity Partners, TD Bank and Eversource Energy that purchased state of Connecticut affordable housing tax credits.

The successful revitalization effort included renovated kitchens and bathrooms, high-performance insulation, expansion of some units with new third floors, enhanced landscaping and grounds, redesigned parking and site plan and energy efficiency heating systems that required the temporary relocation of the forty low- and very low-income families. Nineteen of the units will be affordable through the eleven HOME program units and eight project based vouchers. Residents are all returning now and the owners are also leasing up the five newly constructed units that offer full handicapped accessibility. Stonington Acres is located on public transit lines and within walking distance of downtown, neighborhood schools, libraries, museums and employment opportunities. Construction and the remaining lease-up of the new units is expected to be completed in April, 2016.

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Content Archived: January 3, 2018