Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance and Its Partners to Restore Five Blighted Buildings in Asylum Hill

Oct 16, 2003, 01:00 ET from Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA)

    HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing home ownership as one of
 the keys to neighborhood stability, the Northside Institutions Neighborhood
 Alliance (NINA) today unveiled a plan to increase the number of single- and
 two-family homes in Hartford's Asylum Hill neighborhood.
     NINA and its two partners, the non-profit developers Mercy Housing, Inc.
 and Broad-Park Development Corporation, have identified five boarded-up
 Victorian houses they will rehabilitate as either single- or two-family houses
 and sell to working families.
     The homes, located on Ashley, Garden and Sargeant Streets, were originally
 built between 1870 and 1900 and represent a variety of styles characteristic
 of the Victorian period, including Italianate and Queen Anne.  When renovated,
 the buildings are expected to list at market prices, currently about $120,000
 for a single-family home and about $150,000 for a two-family home.
     "At just nine percent, the rate of homeownership in Asylum Hill is
 significantly below the city's rate of 24 percent and substantially below the
 national rate of 66 percent.  We need to increase the level of homeownership
 if we are to ensure the long-term stability of Asylum Hill," said Kenneth D.
 Johnson, NINA's executive director.
     "Eliminating urban blight and restoring these homes to their Victorian
 grandeur will help make Asylum Hill a safer, more economically viable place to
 live and work," he said.
     "Increased homeownership is one of the major goals of my administration,"
 said Mayor Eddie Perez.  "The city of Hartford applauds this new initiative by
 NINA, Mercy Housing and Broad-Park."
     Three of the five targeted buildings are located on or adjacent to Ashley
 Street, which was chosen as one Mayor Perez's Pride Blocks earlier this year.
 The Mayor's Pride Block homeowner initiative concentrates funds on specific
 city streets in order to achieve more long-lasting results and create greater
 demand for housing.
     Restoration is expected to begin on Ashley Street in early 2004 with each
 home taking approximately six-to-eight months to complete.
     The five buildings were originally part of SHARP 20, a program created in
 the 1990s by Hill Housing to develop 20 owner-occupied homes in Asylum Hill.
 Hill Housing was unable to secure funding for the project, and the houses were
 never developed.
     "We support SHARP 20's goal of increasing home ownership in Asylum Hill,
 and we are committed to seeing this important initiative to its conclusion,"
 said Lynda Godkin, chair of NINA's board of directors and The Hartford's
 senior vice president of state and community affairs.  "This project
 represents the first of what we hope will be many new single- and dual-family
 homes completed in the future."
     NINA, Mercy Housing and Broad-Park, equal partners in the project, are
 creating Asylum Hill Homes LLC to act as the development vehicle on this
 project.  Over the next six-to-ten months, the group will seek funding for the
 project from a variety of sources, including city funds, historic tax credits
 and private foundations.
     The restoration of the five Victorian buildings marks the first project
 for the recently established NINA, a collaborative effort by six major
 institutions to work with neighborhood groups to boost community reinvestment
 in Asylum Hill.  NINA's member companies are The Hartford Financial Services
 Group, Aetna, Mass Mutual Financial Group, ING, Saint Francis Hospital and
 Webster Bank.  Other priorities for the nonprofit NINA are public safety,
 economic development and education.
     Mercy Housing is a nationally recognized leader in the development of
 quality, affordable, service-enriched housing for the economically poor.  To
 date, Mercy has developed 14,558 housing units serving 41,528 people.  Mercy
 operates in 34 states and the District of Columbia, and, in July 1003, opened
 a Northeast Regional Office based in Hartford.
     Broad-Park Development Corporation is an experienced developer of single-
 family homes in Hartford and participated in the city's highly successful
 Mortson Street homeownership project.
 
     Contact:
      Ken Johnson                   Marnie Goodman
      NINA                          The Hartford
      860/244-9390                  860/547-3898
      ninaken@sbcglobal.net         marnie.goodman@thehartford.com
 
 

SOURCE Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA)
    HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing home ownership as one of
 the keys to neighborhood stability, the Northside Institutions Neighborhood
 Alliance (NINA) today unveiled a plan to increase the number of single- and
 two-family homes in Hartford's Asylum Hill neighborhood.
     NINA and its two partners, the non-profit developers Mercy Housing, Inc.
 and Broad-Park Development Corporation, have identified five boarded-up
 Victorian houses they will rehabilitate as either single- or two-family houses
 and sell to working families.
     The homes, located on Ashley, Garden and Sargeant Streets, were originally
 built between 1870 and 1900 and represent a variety of styles characteristic
 of the Victorian period, including Italianate and Queen Anne.  When renovated,
 the buildings are expected to list at market prices, currently about $120,000
 for a single-family home and about $150,000 for a two-family home.
     "At just nine percent, the rate of homeownership in Asylum Hill is
 significantly below the city's rate of 24 percent and substantially below the
 national rate of 66 percent.  We need to increase the level of homeownership
 if we are to ensure the long-term stability of Asylum Hill," said Kenneth D.
 Johnson, NINA's executive director.
     "Eliminating urban blight and restoring these homes to their Victorian
 grandeur will help make Asylum Hill a safer, more economically viable place to
 live and work," he said.
     "Increased homeownership is one of the major goals of my administration,"
 said Mayor Eddie Perez.  "The city of Hartford applauds this new initiative by
 NINA, Mercy Housing and Broad-Park."
     Three of the five targeted buildings are located on or adjacent to Ashley
 Street, which was chosen as one Mayor Perez's Pride Blocks earlier this year.
 The Mayor's Pride Block homeowner initiative concentrates funds on specific
 city streets in order to achieve more long-lasting results and create greater
 demand for housing.
     Restoration is expected to begin on Ashley Street in early 2004 with each
 home taking approximately six-to-eight months to complete.
     The five buildings were originally part of SHARP 20, a program created in
 the 1990s by Hill Housing to develop 20 owner-occupied homes in Asylum Hill.
 Hill Housing was unable to secure funding for the project, and the houses were
 never developed.
     "We support SHARP 20's goal of increasing home ownership in Asylum Hill,
 and we are committed to seeing this important initiative to its conclusion,"
 said Lynda Godkin, chair of NINA's board of directors and The Hartford's
 senior vice president of state and community affairs.  "This project
 represents the first of what we hope will be many new single- and dual-family
 homes completed in the future."
     NINA, Mercy Housing and Broad-Park, equal partners in the project, are
 creating Asylum Hill Homes LLC to act as the development vehicle on this
 project.  Over the next six-to-ten months, the group will seek funding for the
 project from a variety of sources, including city funds, historic tax credits
 and private foundations.
     The restoration of the five Victorian buildings marks the first project
 for the recently established NINA, a collaborative effort by six major
 institutions to work with neighborhood groups to boost community reinvestment
 in Asylum Hill.  NINA's member companies are The Hartford Financial Services
 Group, Aetna, Mass Mutual Financial Group, ING, Saint Francis Hospital and
 Webster Bank.  Other priorities for the nonprofit NINA are public safety,
 economic development and education.
     Mercy Housing is a nationally recognized leader in the development of
 quality, affordable, service-enriched housing for the economically poor.  To
 date, Mercy has developed 14,558 housing units serving 41,528 people.  Mercy
 operates in 34 states and the District of Columbia, and, in July 1003, opened
 a Northeast Regional Office based in Hartford.
     Broad-Park Development Corporation is an experienced developer of single-
 family homes in Hartford and participated in the city's highly successful
 Mortson Street homeownership project.
 
     Contact:
      Ken Johnson                   Marnie Goodman
      NINA                          The Hartford
      860/244-9390                  860/547-3898
      ninaken@sbcglobal.net         marnie.goodman@thehartford.com
 
 SOURCE  Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA)