Housing Authority Expands

Thomas MacMillan PhotoNew Haven’s housing authority has been tapped to revamp the rundown Riverside Apartment Complex in Ansonia, launching its first development project across town lines.

Ansonia’s housing authority started knocking down the public housing complex on Olson Drive in September 2009; it is now awaiting federal approval to knock down four more buildings and redevelop the site.

The Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) last month approved a cross-town agreement to let HANH proceed as the developer for Ansonia’s Riverside project for a five-year period beginning July 1. This will be the first time HANH has worked on a project outside New Haven, according to HANH Executive Director Karen DuBois-Walton.

In a resolution approved June 19, HANH agreed to “provide program management services through members of its staff who possesses the requisite knowledge and experience to provide such services to AHA for the redevelopment of Riverside.”

That means HANH employees will be offering services in Ansonia, and Ansonia will pay back New Haven for their time as follows: $104.32 per hour for HANH Deputy Executive Director Jimmy Miller; $73.92 per hour for an executive project manager; $57.70 per hour for a project manager; and $43.79 for an associate.

HANH may also contract with third parties, and charge Ansonia for the full cost, plus a 10 percent administrative fee. For example, HANH hired Ace Van & Storage, Inc. to help Riverside residents move out between June and the end of August. HANH expects to earn $494,854.38 from the deal.

Miller (pictured above) will take a lead in developing Riverside, first from the helm of Ansonia’s housing authority.

Miller has been juggling two jobs since February, when Ansonia’s housing authority hired him to serve as interim director. Ansonia’s last housing authority director, James Finnucan, resigned in December after the Valley Independent Sentinel revealed that he was renting a Section 8 apartment in violation of federal law.

New Haven’s housing authority on Feb. 21 allowed Ansonia to hire Miller as an interim director, for 15 to 18 hours a week, compensating the New Haven housing authority at a rate of $104.32 per hour. The three-month contract was extended for another three months in May.

Ansonia’s housing authority came close to picking a permanent successor—only to see that top pick withdraw his name from the running. So the search went back to square one, and Ansonia asked to borrow Miller for a longer time period.

New Haven’s housing authority last week approved a second extension to Miller’s deal, allowing him to stay in Ansonia until Aug. 22, for a total of seven months. When Ansonia finds another permanent director, Miller will stay involved in Riverside as needed for the same hourly fee.

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