SINA to Break Ground for New Homes in Hartford
For Immediate Release: Hartford, CT, November 20, 2017
SINA (Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance), a partnership of Connecticut’s Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital and Trinity College, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 36 Wolcott Street, Hartford, on Tuesday, November 21, at 3:30 p.m. The groundbreaking celebrates the start of Cityscape VI, which will build nine new homes on vacant lots and rehabilitate three abandoned buildings in Hartford. According to SINA Executive Director Melvyn Colon, “the bonding package was sponsored by Senator Fonfara and will be administered through the State of Connecticut Department of Housing, which has granted SINA $2.5 million. We are deeply grateful to the Senator, the Governor and the State for their support.”
Cityscape VI will provide homeownership opportunities for families earning 100% or less of the median area income. The average house price will be about $217,000. Adding housing to vacant lots and rehabbing abandoned buildings improves public safety and contributes to the city’s tax rolls. Hartford Hospital President Bimal Patel said “It’s remarkable that our three institutions have banded together in such a strong partnership to improve the quality of life in this community. That includes the health, safety and economic vitality of the neighborhood, its residents and students, along with the well-being of our employees, patients and visitors. It’s clear that our housing and community economic development efforts through SINA are aligned with neighborhood safety.”
All homes will be built to Energy Star 3.5 standards. The quality construction will include energy-efficient insulation, windows and heating systems, plus vegetable gardens. Cityscape VI will create new and rehabbed homes on Wolcott St., Bond Street, Catherine Street, Jefferson Street, Madison Street and Brownell Street. James E. Shmerling, President/CEO of Connecticut’s Children’s Medical Center, said “I am delighted to celebrate a partnership that helps children in South Central Hartford grow, learn and succeed in a safe, supportive environment. Social determinants—the circumstances in which people live and work—powerfully affect health. That is why Connecticut Children’s has embraced a broader definition of community benefit that includes activities like the development of safe, healthy housing.”
Ten of the buildings will be two family homes, with one unit for the owner and one rental unit to help cover the owner’s cost. Six of the homes will be in the Frog Hollow National Historic District. All will be consistent in design and scale with the neighborhood, preserving Hartford’s architectural heritage. Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said, “Public-private partnerships are vital for moving a community forward, and, together with Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, SINA has been key in attracting investment that has resulted in the redevelopment of more than 60 homes that provide stability for families and our neighborhood. These efforts greatly increase safety and quality of life for our students, faculty, and staff, and we are proud to work with the City of Hartford in reaching our mutually shared goals.”
To achieve this milestone, SINA assembled a coalition to advocate for the restoration of homeownership funds in the state budget. In addition to the $2.5 million from the State of Connecticut, a $2,000,000 construction loan will be provided by the Leviticus Fund, a lender chartered to make social investments in housing. The remaining costs of the $5,270,000 project will be covered from sales of the homes. The City of Hartford will play a critical role by providing down payment assistance to first time homebuyers.
The general contractor will be Pope Park Zion, LLC, a SINA subsidiary, and the construction manager will be Millennium Real Estate Service, LLC. The work will unfold in two phases, starting with six homes on Brownell and Wolcott Streets. The first phase is expected to be completed in about eight months.
For more information:
Melvyn Colon, Executive Director, SINA
The Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) is a partnership between Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital and Trinity College. SINA’s mission is to work cooperatively with community stakeholders to restore economic vitality and improve the quality of life for the benefit of the people who live, work, visit, study and play in the neighborhoods of South Central Hartford.