This past Friday, July 28, 2017, the Connecticut Housing Coalition hosted a press conference with Governor Dannel P. Malloy to speak out against federal cuts to affordable housing programs proposed by the current administration. The Governor was also joined by Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
The three leaders underscored the importance of housing programs in our state and how attractive, clean, affordable housing offers people the opportunity for job stability and access to education. If drastic cuts are made to the programs that have been utilized in Connecticut, we could see negative externalities.
Many affordable housing units are located in historic buildings as part of an overall rehabilitation project. Without federal housing subsidies, we could see a significant decrease in investment in our underutilized and vacant building infrastructure, which negatively affects neighborhoods in need of revitalization. Projects like 4-40 Vine Street Apartments (the location of the press conference) are a positive example of federal dollars at work—federal dollars that have leveraged private investment and other sources.
Connecticut Housing Coalition press release.
Prior to project commencement, the nine residential buildings, with their boarded-up windows and doors, were in desperate need of renovation. Sheldon Oak Central, Inc., a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop, manage, and produce affordable housing for at-risk populations, had the vision to redevelop the buildings for continued use as affordable and market-rate housing in order to restore a higher level of occupancy and vitality to the neighborhood. The project also utilized state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. In addition to the standard 25% state tax credit, Connecticut also offers an additional 5% if the project includes an affordable housing component. Projects like this would not be possible without the affordable housing programs that are in place, as well as state and federal historic tax credits.
During the press conference, Governor Malloy announced that $11.5 million is being awarded under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to 20 municipalities in Connecticut that will advance projects to develop and preserve affordable housing. This is funding that will be cut if the federal budget is enacted as proposed. The Governor called the spending cuts, “cruel.”
Do you work in the housing field as social service provider, policy maker, advocate, or developer? If so, we encourage you to join the conversation to speak out about drastic cuts to affordable housing.
Read the full press release here.
By Nina Caruso
Associate Preservation Architect
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