The Hartford Grandfamily Housing Development, a new affordable housing option for seniors and grandparents raising their grandchildren, held an open house for prospective tenants and interested social service providers on January 31.
Dozens of people visited the campus, at 35 Clark Street, which began accepting tenants in fall 2007. They admired the kitchens and the eight-foot windows in the historic St. Michael’s School Building, now converted to spacious apartments for seniors. The facility features newly-constructed two-, three and four-bedroom apartments for grandparents raising grandchildren, with washers and dryers provided in each townhouse.
The housing complex, built by Enterprise Builders, Inc., of Newington, was named the Best Small Commercial Development of the year by the Connecticut Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. at the 2007 Excellence in Construction Awards.
CRT’s Campus Manager Carmen Stanford told visitors about the on-site services, which run the gamut from case management to computer instruction, provided in two separate “study rooms,” one for younger children and one for older youth and adults. CRT staff at the campus will include a youth activities coordinator and a specialist in social services for seniors.
People stopped in for a variety of reasons. Edna Haynes was “window shopping,” as a prospective tenant sometime in the future. Lois Ross, on the other hand, came by in her role as Grandparent Advocate at the Salvation Army: she was considering whether to refer others to the complex.
According to the US Census of 2000, there are at least 2,100 grandparents in Hartford who are officially raising their grandchildren, and many more who are doing so without formal paperwork. Many of them find that their financial resources are stretched when they take over the fulltime care of their grandchildren. The Hartford Grand¬family Housing Develop¬ment opened in Fall 2007. It provides:
• 24 affordable newly-constructed residences for grandparents who have custody of at least one of their grandchildren,
• Case managers to help both grandparents and their children access the services they need in the community,
• A partnership with the nearby Clark Elementary School, where CRT provides Head Start and other educational services,
• Space for appropriate activities for the young people in the complex,
• 16 single bedroom apartments in the renovated Clark Street School, for seniors who are at least 62 years of age.
The application process is being handled by the contracted property manager, Broad-Park Development Corporation, 617 Park St., Hartford. For more information, call Shawndeliz Suarez, Marketing Specialist, 249-0649 ext 300.