Web Sites, Documents and Articles >> Hartford Courant News Articles >

This Program Works

October 17, 2005

If the renderings are accurate, the new mixed-income community about to be built in Hartford's Sheldon-Charter Oak neighborhood will be stunning, a huge improvement on what used to be there.

The housing, for which ground will be broken today, is on the site of the former Dutch Point Colony public housing project, which had become a failed, drug-infested eyesore before finally being put out of its misery and demolished.

The city could not have replaced Dutch Point on its own. It took a $20 million grant from a federal program called Hope VI. This useful program is set to expire next year, and the Bush administration has indicated it wants to eliminate Hope VI.

That would be shortsighted, to say the least.

Hope VI was created to remove dysfunctional housing projects that had become synonymous with urban decay and replace them with attractive neighborhood housing. It has done the job.

Launched in 1992 following a national study of "severely distressed" housing projects, Hope VI helped local authorities in 118 cities replace bad housing with decent places to live.

"It's one of the smartest programs the federal government administers and I'm eager to see it continue," said U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays of Bridgeport, who has co-sponsored legislation to reauthorize Hope VI through 2011.

We could argue that reauthorization is a matter of fairness. The federal government was the driving force behind most of these gone-bad urban housing projects, and the federal government should take the lead in correcting its mistakes.

But it's more than that. Hope VI is a good investment. Every federal dollar spent on Hope VI housing has yielded three to four dollars of private investment and made cities more economically viable. Hope VI has transformed neighborhoods. Visit the quiet, well-kept neighborhoods where the Charter Oak Terrace, Bellevue Square, Stowe Village and Rice Heights projects once stood. Hope VI has caused a night-and-day improvement.

As long as any of the old housing projects remain - and some do - there will be a need for Hope VI. We support Mr. Shays' bill.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
Powered by Hartford Public Library  

Includes option to search related Hartford sites.

Advanced Search
Search Tips

Can't Find It? Have a Question?