September 2 - 9, 1998

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Homeownership Project Opens on Affleck Street

by Andy Hart

The recent upsurge of redevelopment in Hartford's Frog Hollow neighborhood took another step forward Friday with the official groundbreaking of a new homeownership project on Affleck Street. The $3 million project, known as Frog Hollow Homes, will convert five apartment buildings into a total of 26 units of co-op housing.

A spokesman for Broad-Park Development Corporation said the rehabilitation of the properties should take about a year. Current residents of the buildings will be relocated to other Broad-Park properties during the construction phase and will be given preference in selecting resident-owners when Frog Hollow Homes is completed.

Friday's event was hosted by Broad-Park, which is the lead developer of the project in partnership with the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA), the Frog Hollow Revitalization Committee and the Spanish American Merchants Association.

Broad-Park purchased the five buildings on Affleck Street in the late 1970's and early 1980's to preserve them for rehabilitation as affordable rental housing in the future. In recent years, however, neighborhood leaders and organizations began to push for more home-ownership in Frog Hollow to increase neighborhood stability and property values. In response to this need, Broad-Park began to look for a way to convert the properties into a homeownership project. This was made possible by an agreement with the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company whereby a series of loans made to Broad-Park were converted into grants, allowing the sale of the properties to the new organization known as Frog Hollow Homes.

When completed and occupied, Frog Hollow Homes will be run by an association of residents in partnership with Broad-Park. The Residents' Association will make house rules for the development and members will have seats on Broad-Park's Property Management Committee. Broad-Park will own the properties and lease the units to the resident-owners of the co-op.

Funding for the project is coming from a variety of sources, including the City of Hartford, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the National Equity Fund, the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program through People's Bank.

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