Rabbi Daniel Greer recalled passing regularly by a stretch of “miserable, miserable houses” on Whalley Avenue right past Ella Grasso Boulevard. Then a not-for-profit builder transformed the houses into a tasteful, solid complex called Fairlawn Manor.
“It’s just a pleasure to go by there. There’s about 10 or 12 houses that [used to be] really bad, and it was not nice to walk past there,” said Greer. “I even go out of my way sometimes and cross the street just to walk past them.”
Greer (who has done his own share of housing revival in the Edgewood neighborhood) was describing the work of a not-for-profit builder called Neighborhood Housing Services. He and NHS’s Jim Paley were on hand Thursday to accept help to continue rebuilding New Haven’s neighborhoods.
The help came from Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P), which presented checks totaling $2.6 million to not-for-profit builders like NHS, at NHS’s Sherman Avenue headquarters. The donations will be used to help develop affordable and supportive housing in New Haven.
Paley accepted the $500,000 check on behalf of NHS. A not-for-profit started by Daniel Greer, Edgewood Village, Inc., also received $500,000, as did Housing Operations Management Enterprises, Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, and NeighborWorks New Horizons (NWNH). The Corporation for Urban Home Ownership received $100,000.
CL&P is the largest contributor to the Housing Tax Credit Contribution (HTCC) Program. This year, the company has donated $9.1 million of the $10 million program awards statewide.
Greer (at left in above photo, with Paley on right), praised CL&P for the efforts and contributions the company has made to help not just New Haven, but the entire state.
“I think the word ‘statewide’ should be emphasized, because although this area [New Haven] is not part of the territory of CL&P, the company has stepped forward and helps the [entire state], not only within its territory,” said Greer. “I think that’s really commendable. Frankly, many of us [nonprofits] could not exist without the help CL&P offers. Our programs would just dry up. It’s really made an impact.”
“CL&P really believes in this program,” said Thomas Dorsey (pictured), manager of CL&P legislative affairs. “The nonprofits associated with this do great work and we’re very proud to partner with them. We think it’s a great success.”
Gloribell Lopez, director of operations and programs for NWNH, said the donation money would help complete a 44-unit development her organization is building.
“It’s a $14 million project that is in its final stages of completion,” said Lopez (pictured). “We actually have our last tenants moving in the next couple of weeks or so, so this [donation] helps towards funding the rest of the project.”
Carla Weil, executive director of the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, said CL&P’s donation will help fund the nonprofit’s workforce housing program, which takes place in New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport.
“We lend to developers who are doing projects in neighborhoods that are going to be targeted at folks who either own or rent and work in the town where that home is being built,” explained Weil (at center in photo). “We’re trying to strengthen the local economy and also the local affordable housing market.”