Seven-million dollar construction groundbreaking

Immediate Release: October 25, 2007

Groundbreaking for seven-million dollar construction project makes
the dream of home-ownership in Hartford’s Southside a reality.

Dignitaries, developers, and residents of Hartford’s Southside took part in a groundbreaking today that promises to create a community of new homeowners on Colonial and School Streets.  The seven million dollar SINA (Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance) construction project represents the next phase of SINA’s Cityscape Homes initiative.  The Cityscape Homes Phase IV project will bring 26 newly constructed units to the neighborhood.  The eighteen buildings will include ten single-family homes and eight two-family homes which will be sold to first-time home-buyers with moderate incomes.  The Phase IV project comes from the theory that there is never enough affordable housing and families of all income levels need to own appreciable assets.

In recent years SINA along with its partners are responsible for the construction and rehabilitation of hundreds of units in the Southside.  The nationally recognized Cityscape Homes Project is a component of the Cityscape neighborhood revitalization campaign to transform Hartford’s Frog Hollow and Barry Square neighborhoods. It’s about creating a bustling, safe and prosperous neighborhood in which people can live, work, go to school, and shop.  It has been designed to assist low-income first-time home-buyers with an opportunity to make an investment in the community and be a part of the Cityscape revitalization effort. The organization has created a healthy market of trusting neighborhood residents and leaders, many of whom believed they would never achieve the American Dream of owning their own homes.

Phase IV is financed by a variety of sources including the State of CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development – Housing Trust Fund, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Hartford, CHFA, LISC and Homebuyers 1st Mortgage.   Much of this financing is in the form of grants which allow the homes to be sold for less than the actual cost to construct the properties.  These grants are attached to the property as a second or third mortgage and generally restrict the property from being resold during a 10 to 15 year period to a family that is not income qualified.

SINA was careful to retain the neighborhood character by blending the architectural style of the new Phase IV units with the existing housing stock.  The homes include custom colonials which remove vehicles from the street by providing driveways and off-street parking.  All 26 units are on two streets in an effort otherwise known as Target Block Approach to Development. The ten single family homes are contiguous on Colonial Street. The Phase IV homes range from a 1500 sq. ft one family home to a 2700 sq. ft. two family house.  The one-family units will start at $160,000 and the two-family units will start at $249,000.

There are a variety of mortgage programs available to make these homes affordable for first-time homebuyers.  An example of home-buyer income eligibility for a family of 4 is less than $96,000 per household.  The owner of a two-family home must also rent to income eligible families.  The homeowner applicants will be eligible on a first come first serve basis.

The homes will be “ENERGY STAR” rated, fully applianced kitchens, and equipped with high efficiency condensing boilers and spray in foam insulation. Additionally, all of the appliances will be Energy Star rated. This combination should greatly reduce homeowner’s monthly utility bills.

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