Project teams in the 2022–2023 CSH Connecticut Supportive Housing Institute (SHI) revealed plans to develop nearly 300 homes of tenant-centered quality supportive housing projects for youth and individuals experiencing complex barriers to housing. Each participating team included an affordable housing developer, property manager, and supportive housing service provider. Each team goal was to develop a supportive housing project from concept to shovel-ready.
Last month, ten teams participating in the SHI made final presentations displaying how their project will help the sate move closer to creating more quality supportive housing units. This was the seventh statewide institute presented by Connecticut and national staff, the first since 2010.
CSH co-hosted the SHI with Connecticut Department of Housing. Seila Mosquera-Bruno, the commissioner of the CT Department of Housing, had particiapted in the CSH 2005 Institute when she was the Director of Mutual Housing of South Central Connecticut. Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno expressed confidence in CSH as part of an overall goal to increase supportive/affordable housing in the state.
Several Department of Housing staff members were in attendance including Miguel Rivera, Lisa Quach, Steve DiLella, Lena Holleran, Tawny Pho, Deputy Commissioner Brandon McGee and Senior Advisor Dr. Shanté Hanks. The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority also attended represented by Nandini Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer and Terry Nash Giovanucci, Community Engagement Manager and Chair of the Connecticut Interagency Council on Supportive Housing. Alice Minervino, Behavioral Health Program Manager for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and also a SHI alum, represented her organization.
Teams were led by the following sponsoring agencies:
- Community Health Resources
- New London Homeless Hospitality Center
- My Sisters Place/Community Housing Advocates
- Friendship Center and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater New Britain
- The Village and Mutual Housing of Greater Hartford
- Women and Families Center
- Columbus House
- Pacific House
- Connecticut Housing Partners.
Pacific House’s Executive Director, Rafael Pagan, and team members Tiara Lofton and Jen Broadbin chanted “We say ‘Shovel’, You say: ‘Ready”, as they took the floor for their presentation. At last year’s kick-off session, Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno proclaimed she wanted to see “Shovel Ready” projects, resulting in the team naming themselves the Shovel Ready Team. (One of their projects will receive a $5.4 million loan from CSH and a $67,500 grant through CSH’s RACE Initiative.)
Altogether, proposed projects will include nearly 300 homes expected to be funded by the state serving a variety of populations, including young adults, aging, families, and individuals experiencing homelessness.
CSH Institute staff were led by Alyssa Languth, Christina Duran and Alexis Butler, all on the National Consulting team. Other CSH staff included members from the CSH CT team, Sonya Jelks, Director, CSH Connecticut, Phylicia Adams, Luz Osuba, Kimalea Anthony, Hillary Williams, Joella Glaude, and John Dunne.
The SHI gathered teams for nine sessions over 10 months. As part of the SHI offering, CSH staff will provide technical assistance for the rest of 2023. The Department of Housing provided CSH with $500,000 that may be awarded to teams as pre-development grants. Disbursement of those funds will help teams with up-front costs associated with their projects.
All funders in attendance, including Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno as the lead, were impressed by the presentations. Now, the Department of Housing and CSH are in discussion about a future SHI to focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPCO) developers in Connecticut. We are excited to see the future of supportive housing in Connecticut as part of our continued partnership.