John G. Rowland

The state Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded Neighborhood Housing Services of Stamford and Mutual Housing of Southwestern Connecticut a $975,000 HOME program grant to build condominiums for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers in Stamford.

“The HOME program plays an extremely important role in helping create affordable units in communities with high housing costs,” Gov. John G. Rowland said last week in announcing the grant. “This grant will help guarantee the permanent affordability of high-quality housing units on Stamford’s west side.”

HOME funds will be combined with $966,400 from the city of Stamford and $2.8 million from public and private lenders to demolish three dilapidated buildings and build 19 new townhouse condominium units in the Spruce Street neighborhood. Five will have one bedroom, seven will have two bedrooms and seven will be three-bedroom units.

All 19 units will be sold to buyers with incomes below 50 percent of the area median, and deed restrictions will permanently limit resales to buyers with equivalent incomes. The development will help to maintain a variety of economic levels in the neighborhood, where properties have recently been sold to higher-income buyers.

DECD administers the HOME Investment Partnership Program, a federally funded program offering grants, loans and deferred loans to not-for-profit and for-profit developers, housing authorities and individuals to develop and support affordable housing. Eligible activities may include new construction or substantial rehabilitation of affordable units for rent or homeownership. The HOME program funds qualified projects statewide.

DECD is the state’s lead agency for the development and implementation of policies, strategies and programs, all of which are designed to enhance Connecticut’s communities and business and housing environments. The agency develops and implements strategies to attract and retain businesses and jobs, promote and increase tourism, revitalize neighborhoods and communities, ensure quality housing and foster appropriate development in the state’s towns and cities.