Two area nonprofit realty firms decades ago were established to address the notion that urban housing should be available and affordable.
Broad-Park Development Corp. started in 1978 to give people living in Hartford's Frog Hollow and South Green neighborhoods the opportunity for homeownership.
Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford opened its doors 10 years later in response to the trend then sweeping Hartford and other American cities, where private developers were buying and converting rented apartments into upscale condominiums.
Until recently, each managed its portfolio of apartments, duplexes and commercial properties for their residents’ benefit.
But Broad-Park, eager to return to its roots collaborating on strategies that keep affordable housing within reach, starting July 1 is outsourcing the chores of collecting rent checks and doing maintenance for its 284 units to Mutual.
Eighteen months ago, Mutual began managing its own portfolio of 500 housing units in Hartford — where half are located — and its suburbs as a way to build rapport with residents who also are Mutual’s owners, said Cathy MacKinnon, executive director.
Taking on Broad-Park’s assets also provides greater economy of scale for Mutual’s property-management operation, launched as a way to generate extra source of revenue. Counting Broad-Park, Mutual manages about 400 units for private and nonprofit investors for which it collects either flat fees of $20 to $40 per month per unit, or 3 percent to 7 percent of the monthly rents collected, MacKinnon said.
Managing more properties is a possibility, she said.
“We’ll see how this goes,’’ MacKinnon said. “Our desire is not to be a huge property management organization. We don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity.’’
Meanwhile, Broad-Park Executive Director L. Raquel Rivera, in a statement, described the arrangement as a “win-win.’’
Without the responsibility of managing properties, Rivera said her nonprofit organization can “refocus on exciting new projects and opportunities that help make Frog Hollow and South Green desirable, affordable places to live and work.’’