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New Haven church partners with city to create more affordable housing

Mayor Justin Elicker speaks during announcing St. Luke’s Development Corporation will construct a 55-unit apartment building constructed next to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven
Abigail Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Mayor Justin Elicker speaks during announcing St. Luke’s Development Corporation will construct a 55-unit apartment building constructed next to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven

The congregation at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven began purchasing property along Whalley Avenue more than two decades ago. The goal was to create more safe and affordable housing options in the area.

The church is now partnering with the city and the New Haven Housing Authority to establish affordable apartments on one of its properties.

St. Luke’s established the nonprofit St. Luke’s Development Corporation in 1997 to positively redevelop the area surrounding the church. Over the last two decades, the Corporation purchased several properties to create housing.

The group’s latest venture will be a 55-unit apartment building constructed next to the church. Forty-nine of the units will be affordable, with some available for residents who earn 30% of the area median income. The remaining six units will be market rate.

The project will add housing where businesses previously stood, Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton, president of the New Haven Housing Authority, said.

“This will expand housing that's affordable. We are not replacing, right? We're not tearing down and replacing units that were already here. This is new inventory. These are new units coming on board,” DuBois-Walton said.

The project, which will cost about $36.2 million, is funded through various revenue streams and grants.

“The third time is the charm for us on this. We chased every funding route. We've been in and in, but this was the successful one,” DuBois-Walton said.

The state provided a $7 million grant for the project, with $1 million of the funds to go toward improving the road and sidewalks in front of the apartments, with the goal of improving the area’s walkability and pedestrian safety.

Construction on the project will begin next fall, with a roughly 16-month building period, DuBois-Walton said. The apartments should be ready for lease in spring 2026.

“In addition to affordable housing, we are going to see transformation on Whalley Avenue on this corridor,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said. “This is a dangerous road. It is not only one of the most traveled roads by vehicles, but also one of the most traveled roads by pedestrians and cyclists.”

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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