Section 8 Subsidies Approved For Coliseum Site Plan

If 700 new apartments rise as planned on the the grave of the Coliseum site, at least 19 of them will house families with government-subsidized rents.

The apartments are part of a broader, $395 million mixed-use project the Montreal firm called LiveWorkLearnPlay plans to build on the the Orange/George/State Street lot. The city a href=“”>approved by the plan recently with a financial commitment of $12 million and is hoping the state and federal government kick in another $32 million for road improvements.

At its monthly commissioners meeting this week, the Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) added, by a unanimous vote, approval of 19 federal Section 8 housing vouchers to ensure that part of the project includes affordable housing.

Altogether, the development will have 20 percent affordable units and the 19 project-based vouchers are only for phase one, which will be 370 units, said Kiran Marok, in an email. She’s a project director for LiveWorkLearnPlay.

LiveWorkLearnPlay‘s team promised to devote 20 percent of the housing, or approximately 70 apartments, to affordable or “workforce” housing.

The schedule calls for building the apartment in two phases. the rest of the firs phase affordable units will target a range of “workforce” income levels, Marok added.

That commitment grew out of public meetings between LiveWorkLearnPlay, local politicians, and Hill neighbors. After those discussions, the developer agreed to enlarge osme of the apartments. At least 10 percent of the affordable units are to be two-to-three bedroom apartments to attract working families, not only low-income working individuals.

The Section 8 rent subsidy approved at Tuesday’s HANH board meeting —which makes up the difference between what low-income families can afford and the fair market rent—runs for an initial term of 15 years, in an amount not to exceed $159,783 annually.

The arrangement is subject to the approval of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Paul Bass PhotoThe motion to approve was offered by Commissioner Alberta Witherspoon (pictured) and seconded by Luis Maldonado. It passed unanimously after a presentation by the staff of LiveWorkLearnPlay.

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posted by: wendy1 on January 23, 2014  4:49pm

19 out of 700 ???  That’s less than 3%!!!!

Since there are NO jobs or no jobs that pay a living wage HERE, how do you expect tenants to pay the typically HIGH rents around here.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 23, 2014  5:09pm

How come Mitchell-Lama Housing Program can not be used.

posted by: Stylo on January 23, 2014  6:14pm

@Wendy, they will fill - and it may even free up more reasonably priced inventory and help stabilize prices. We’re under served with market rate apartments, Nothing everything built can be subsidized.

posted by: Charl on January 23, 2014  7:40pm

It is my absolute conviction that developers should never be given any local, state, or federal funding for private, for-profit residential building developments.

Could you imagine if you bought for example, one of the 500K two-bedroom apartments in a very similar new hi-rise just a block over from this site, and found out the apartment next to yours has a family that is paying just $250/month with Section 8 assistance?

Not fair, and I do not understand the point of it.

Why not instead use the money to build nice housing projects for all of the people who need subsidized housing? 

Finally, I bet the 19 units will, in one manner or another, go to “connected” people or relatives of those with connections or favors in need of being called in.

posted by: Jones Gore on January 23, 2014  7:46pm

New Haven has the lowest vacancy rate in the nation.

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on January 23, 2014  10:13pm

It would be great to see at least 15-20% of any new market-rate luxury condo development be reserved for Workforce & Section 8 housing. New housing should desegregate & democratize, not just replicate Bloomberg’s Manhattan.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 24, 2014  11:18am

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on January 23, 2014 9:13pm
It would be great to see at least 15-20% of any new market-rate luxury condo development be reserved for Workforce & Section 8 housing. New housing should desegregate & democratize, not just replicate Bloomberg’s Manhattan.

You hit it out of the park.Replicate Bloomberg’s Manhattan.

posted by: webblog on January 24, 2014  4:15pm

@ Jones Gore:

The numbers are skewered.

The national rate you are referencing is for market rate apartments only. Market rate apartments in downtown New Haven average $1,800.

This report does not count the vacancy rate of all New Haven, which is 6,090.

According to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau estimates: 

Vacancy for rent statics..

Congressional district 1. 7,240
Congressional district 2. 3,775

Congressional district 3. 9,057

Congressional district 4. 7,352

Congressional district 5. 6348.

For New Haven Town New Haven County :

For rent New Haven 7,930.

Now what?

posted by: anonymous on January 24, 2014  4:50pm

Agree with SOA.

posted by: jim1 on January 24, 2014  6:09pm

Lets see last I looked there were more than 19 Section 8 people looking for a place to live..
What will the rents be in the other 681??

This is a shame only 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by: wendy1 on January 24, 2014  9:15pm

How many of these people commenting or for that matter people who “develop” property have spent time talking to the homeless.  Few people choose this hellish lifestyle.  Few deserve it.

posted by: Serf of New Haven on January 25, 2014  8:44pm

For starters, the first building that is going to get built? The smallest one in the left hand corner, that’s where go first. Ten years later they say due to some cost constraint/profit/benefit analysis in page 336 of our contract mumbo jumbo we’re stuck with a parking lot for thirty years with a big box college dorm in the middle.

Hello, anyone see train wreck coming?

But what is important for NHI readers. This was your land. It should have been divided and parceled for townhouse use and mixed use. Not sold off to some out of town mega developer. You don’t need mega developers. They have been the bane of our existence as a city for too long. We must free ourselves of this mindset. Give parcel lots to the people and let them build.