By SHERIDAN CYR
Town officials are championing an $800,000 community development block grant that was approved by the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) last week to renovate the Zdunzyck Terrace, a 60-unit senior housing rental project at the corner of Pleasant Street and Mountain View Road.
The housing development currently lacks the state-required ADA updates to the community room and six housing units, along with a replacement of vinyl siding and the electrical system, and installation of new entry doors for each unit.
“This will be a tremendous benefit to our current residents as well as for future residents,” said Al Harris, executive director of the Housing Authority. The project will be conducted following a “scope of work:” that includes three phases.
Harris expects that work will begin in the winter and continue through spring. The second phase will require a second application for a grant if available at that time.
A needs assessment conducted on the facility in 2013 determined that Zdunzyck Terrace would require a number of updates to make the facility complaint with ADA requirements. The facility, located at 500 Pleasant St., is fully occupied in all 60 units and has six handicapped units.
“We owe a huge thank-you to the town manager and the town council,” Harris said. “Their help made this possible.”
The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) benefited 16 municipalities across Connecticut, including Southington, totaling $10.5 million across the board. The intention was to provide infrastructure upgrades and improvements with a goal of combating blight, improving neighborhoods and increasing economic development.
The CDBG Small Cities program, administered through the DOH with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are awarded to small towns with a population below 50,000.
The grants will advance projects that develop and preserve affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable residents in their communities, and also create and retain jobs.
“These projects will help so many local communities increase the quality of life and make our state an even more attractive place to live, work and do business,” said Governor Dannel Malloy in a press release. “These are investments in our neighborhoods, in the people who live here, and in our economic future.”
DOH Commissioner Evonne Klein said the grants would improve lives of residents.
“Whether it’s helping a family to complete essential renovations on their homes such as repairing a leaking roof, making a senior living facility ADA compliant, or improving the habitability of a domestic violence shelter, CDBG Small Cities funding is an important program,” Klein said in a press release. “This federal funding is essential to low and moderate income residents and without these dollars, we would likely be unable to assist as many of our low and moderate income residents as they make these kinds of repairs.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.