When he took office in January 2002,
Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez set the ambitious goal of adding 2,500
owner-occupied housing units to the city in the next five years,
500 of them in the downtown area, for the purpose of increasing
the city's low rate of homeownership.
Skeptics said it wouldn't happen, and
with less than a year left on his timetable it appears unlikely
he will meet his objective on time.
Nevertheless, even in falling short, the mayor has had a major impact
on housing in Hartford.
As of today, there are more than 1,100
new homeowners in the city. More than 300 condominiums downtown
are either completed, under construction or in the latter stages
Couple that with the number of rental
property developments that are in the same phases and there are
3,000 new housing units either occupied or coming online shortly.
When completed, the city and the state Capital City Economic Development
Authority will have more than met their original target of adding
1,000 residences to downtown.
That is an impressive accomplishment.
As one might expect, Hartford's homeownership
rate, which was estimated at 25 percent in 2002, has barely budged
upward because the number of new rental units has kept pace with
the number of owner-occupied units. One development alone, Hartford
21, will have about 400 rental apartments.
But walk in any direction in Hartford,
and chances are you will come to a new construction site and get
the inescapable feeling that things are getting done for the better.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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