$1.65 million dollar grant to help families become homeowners


(WTNH) –- Homeownership is a dream for many families, but not everyone can afford a house. Families in four Connecticut communities may soon be getting some help.

A $1.65 million grant will help families in Branford, Milford, Guilford and Wallingford. It comes through the nonprofit Capital for Change. Some of the money is from the federal government. It will help families achieve their dream of owning their own home.

Ram Shrestha and Ram Bhandari own Zaroka Bar & Restaurant in New Haven. They’re from Nepal and both have worked hard to become homeowners. They say homeownership was great for them and for their families.

“Being a homeowner is a wonderful thing,” said Shrestha. “You have all kinds of liberty.”

“When you have kids [and own a] home they can have a peaceful life,” said Bhandari.

They’re glad a grant will make it easier for people in four Connecticut communities to become homeowners. The money will be used to build new homes or to fix up houses that need work. State Representative Lonnie Reed, who represents Branford, says there are families there who need help.

“The reality is we have so many young families in our town who can’t afford to buy in our town, who are renting,” Reed said.

The grant is expected to pay for up to 20 homes; how many will depend on how much the work ends up costing. It’s not yet clear when that work would start. Reed says homeownership is important to the families she’s spoken with.

“It’s one of the things that’s part of the American Dream – owning a home of your own, being able to feel that you’re a part of the American Dream,” said Reed.

Reed says this grant will help families who may not have otherwise qualified. Shrestha is pleased this grant has been approved, and he hopes it will help other families enjoy owning their own home.

“Everybody should be the owner of a home so that they can live their life and they can enjoy their home,” he said.

Families interested in applying should contact their first selectman or mayor’s office.

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