Money to replace elderly homes in Stamford

Flooding in Stamford from Superstorm Sandy, Oct. 29, 2012. (WTNH Report It / Hilkka Schulz)
Flooding in Stamford from Superstorm Sandy, Oct. 29, 2012. (WTNH Report It / Hilkka Schulz)

STAMFORD, Conn.(WTNH)- Charter Oak Communities in Stamford has received a $6.4 million funding commitment from the State of Connecticut for the replacement of the aging Czescik Homes elderly housing property. The source of this grant is the $31.14 million in federal funds committed to the repair and/or replacement of multi-family housing and other uses in response to Super Storm Sandy. It is part of Connecticut’s allocation of $72 million awarded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.

The CDBG-DR funding is being distributed by the CT Department of Housing to help the state’s most distressed and damaged areas recover from Sandy, as well as to invest in resiliency against future storm damage.

According to Stamford Mayor David Martin, this funding will help Stamford re-build senior housing for Stamford residents, and is welcome support. “My administration is committed to supporting our senior citizens and is pleased to be receiving this critical grant funding. Following the devastation caused by Super Storm Sandy, this funding will help Stamford re-build senior housing for our residents, one of the city’s essential projects. We are looking forward to working with Charter Oak Communities to help facilitate the project and its completion in the coming months.”

According to COC Executive Director and CEO Vincent J. Tufo, COC will combine its award of Super Storm Sandy funds with $8.1 million in other public and private money to construct a replacement elderly property – Summer Place – at 992 Summer Street. Some features of this initiative, he explained, are as follows:

· Summer Place will facilitate the relocation of senior housing at Czescik Homes (108, 172, 186 Greenwich Avenue) from out of the Mill River Corridor and that tidal estuary’s 100-year flood plain.
o There are 50 moderate-income elderly/disabled Czescik units, and they are over 45 years old, in need of extensive renovation, and place residents in peril during flood events.
o During Super Storm Sandy, tidal water inundated the site and rose to within six (6) inches of occupied floor levels; it would have easily breeched the building had the winds not abated prior to the next anticipated storm surge.
o As it was, all residents were evacuated prior to Sandy, including three (3) paraplegic seniors who were placed in temporary nursing care.

· Summer Place will be a mid-rise, five-story apartment building located adjacent to Inspirica’s multi-program Franklin Commons service facility.
o Summer Place will incorporate 48 new, affordable senior apartments that average 22% larger than the existing, substandard Czescik apartments, providing residents with essential living space (the two remaining units will be designated at another COC new development)
o All units will be ADA accessible, or adaptable, to accommodate a range of resident mobility requirements (no Czescik units are ADA compliant)
o Summer Place will be owned by a partnership including Charter Oak Communities (COC) and Inspirica
o Inspirica will provide comprehensive resident social services

Planned building amenities include services such as:

o In-town location with convenient access to shopping, services, and public transit
o Community room with serving kitchen (large enough to accommodate the entire resident population)
o Resident services/counseling office
o Medical exam suite (for visiting nurse/MD)
o Secure entry system (with security guard)
o Laundry facilities
o Roof deck garden

Residents at Summer Place will benefit from case management and a comprehensive program of services designed to maintain and enhance their independence, including:

o Affordable medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare (affiliation with Community Health Centers)
o Physical rehabilitation services and assistance
o Home health and meal assistance, as needed
o Transportation to appointments and personal necessities
o Other support and social services for improved quality of life

“This funding and the plans underway are reflective of COC’s long-term commitment to providing quality, safe, affordable housing and services for Stamford residents, regardless of age, income or disabilities,” Tufo stressed. “Our plan for Summer Place will ensure the long-term sustainability of this important asset while offering residents an exceptional quality of life where they might age-in-place.”

Kenneth Boroson Architects of New Haven will serve as project architect for Summer Place, and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2015 with completion by mid 2016. For more information, please contact Vincent Tufo, executive director and CEO of Charter Oak Communities, at (203) 977-1400, ext. 3305 or vtufo@charteroakcommunities.org <mailto:vtufo@charteroakcommunities.org .

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