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Stamford-based housing nonprofit receives $3.7 million to expand affordable housing

Aerial shot of a residential neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut.
Hal Bergman
Getty Images
Aerial shot of a residential neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut.

A Stamford-based housing nonprofit is one of three Connecticut groups receiving federal grant funding to increase affordable housing in Fairfield County. The Housing Development Fund (HDF) received $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund.

The grant is awarded through the Equitable Recovery Program (ERP), intended to help vulnerable communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, who represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes most of Fairfield County and some of New Haven County.

“We have an affordable housing crisis in Fairfield County,” Himes said. “A lack of housing options impedes the ability of young families to settle in Connecticut, pushes senior citizens out of their communities, and strangles Connecticut’s economic growth. This grant will help the Stamford Housing Development Fund continue their critical mission of creating more affordable options for our friends and neighbors.”

The grant program is part of the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions fund, which has been around since the 1990s. The Community Development Financial Institutions is a Treasury Department designation.

The Equitable Recovery Program, however, began in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to ensure communities hit hardest have a chance at recovery. The funds expand programs and investments in low or moderate-income communities that experienced disproportionate economic impacts during the pandemic.

“HDF is thrilled to have secured the ERP grant and at such a meaningful level,” HDF CEO Joan Carty said in a statement. “These funds will be targeted to leveraging multifamily rehab and deed restricting affordable rentals for low and moderate income households.”

The grant will help The Housing Development Fund “finance affordable rental properties in economically underserved communities across Connecticut that were hit hardest during the pandemic.”

HDF helps residents become and remain owners of affordable homes and finances affordable rentals for low- and moderate-income households.

The ERP funds will boost the organization’s multifamily loan program to rehab multi-family properties, Carty said. Through a loan consortium of funds, made available by banks, the organization finances the acquisition and rehab of small multi-family buildings across the state.

“We are planning on supplementing those loans with additional funding from the ERP grant so that we can do more intensive rehab on properties and also help small landlords access funding because we'll be able to give more flexible terms and rates,” Carty said.

Along with HDF, two other Connecticut Community Development Financial Institutions received funding when the grant awardees were announced on April 10.

Capital for Change, based out of Wallingford, works to broaden access to affordable housing, energy efficiency and job opportunities for underserved communities. The organization received $2.4 million in ERP funding.

The Hartford Community Loan Fund, which provides affordable financial services for low-income residents, received a $1.7 million ERP grant.

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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