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New Haven housing nonprofit helps residents afford homeownership

Alonda Emery. The woman on her right is the department of housing commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno. Beside him is the Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director Jim Paley.
Abigail Brone
Connecticut Public
Alonda Emery. The woman on her right is the department of housing commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno. Beside him is the Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director Jim Paley.

A New Haven nonprofit is stepping in to help first time homebuyers amid Connecticut’s housing crisis.

The assistance enables homebuyers, like New Haven resident Alonda Emery, to receive a new home for a fraction of its appraised price.

Emery purchased a newly constructed two family home on West Hazel Street for $260,000.

“Just over a year ago, there was just a mound of dirt here and it's crazy to believe that I'm on my front porch,” Emery said. “It's crazy how quickly they were able to build this all up.”

The affordable home is one of four in the area recently completed by housing nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven.

The Connecticut Department of Housing contributed more than $1 million to the developments.

The department is now participating in other upcoming redevelopments in the neighborhood following the success of the project, according to Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno.

“We are very pleased with this outcome,” Mosquera-Bruno said. “Having four houses, having seven families that will have new homes, and we all know the need for quality housing, energy efficient, is pretty big in the state.”

The Department of Housing committed about $900,000 for energy retrofitting on two Newhallville blocks, Mosquera-Bruno said.

Three of the four homes are two-family residences, allowing the homeowners to earn passive income as a landlord. One of the homes is a single-family residence.

Neighborhood Housing Services provides financial literacy and homeownership courses for homebuyers.

The organization also helped Emery get started as a landlord renting out the home’s upper floor.

The homes are located in New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood. The two-family homes cost $750,000 to construct and sold for about $260,000.

The single-family home cost $400,000 and sold for about $175,000, according to Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director, James Paley.

Neighborhood Housing Services has several other homes in the planning stages. And home energy improvements for the area in the works.

“We don't have any kind of project if we don't own the land and making it possible for us to get the land is something that is partially private, but also mostly city owned properties,” Paley said. “We're looking to, if we can get parcels of land that we can develop homeownership, I'm committed to finding the funding that would make it possible for us to do the development.”

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.
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