Group Enters Rental Market Southside
Alliance Venture Involves Buying 12 Buildings In Frog Hollow, Barry
February 3, 2005
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer
After years working to
help neighborhood residents become homeowners, the Southside Institutions
Neighborhood Alliance is moving into the rental market.
what is called a "scattered site" development, the
Alliance and the Broad-Park Development Corp. have acquired 12 buildings
with a total of 74 rental two- and three-bedroom apartments in various
parts of Frog Hollow and Barry Square, Alliance Executive Director
Luis C. Caban said Wednesday.
"This is our first real jump into the rental market," Caban
said. "And there's a big need for rental. This community is
mostly a rental community."
"One of the things we did early on, which turned out to be
an incredibly smart strategy, was to buy everything that was available," he
said. "If we're going to be successful in terms of building
affordable housing, we have to pick up property before the housing
prices start climbing."
Fannie Mae, a nationwide mortgage organization, became interested
in the project when contacted by the Alliance.
"They approached us and said, `Let's renovate and stabilize
the housing in and around the Learning Corridor,'" said Robert
Kantor, director of the Fannie Mae Connecticut Partnership Office.
"The affordable rental is what stabilizes the critical mass.
It makes a statement," Kantor said. "Even though this is
a `scattered site' development, it's renovating several dilapidated
buildings and changing the feel of the community."
The project's total cost is about $10.5 million, Caban said. Of
that, $7.3 million was put up by Fannie Mae in return for federal
tax credits, Kantor said. As a result, the Alliance and Broad-Park
need only raise or borrow the remaining $3.2 million.
"Because they only need a $3 million loan, they can really
charge much less in rent," Kantor said.
Of the 13 properties, the one at 149-151 Affleck St. and the two
at 83-85 and 87-89 Ward St. are available. Rents range from $635
to $740, and Section 8 vouchers are accepted. Of the 74 units, close
to a dozen have been rented, Caban said.
"And the interesting thing is that, in the apartments that
we've rented, we're getting folks that are moving out from dilapidated
properties," he said.
The project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the
year, will be formally announced at 12:30 p.m. today at 1624 Broad
St. with local leaders expected to be present.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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