NORWALK, CT – The Norwalk Housing Authority and Trinity Financial on Wednesday marked the opening of Phase Two of Soundview Landing – a mixed-income housing development on the former Washington Village site.
The project consists of 85 mixed-income rental residences made up of 42 replacement public housing units, 23 workforce tax credit units and 20 market rate units. Washington Village was the oldest public housing site in the state of Connecticut and experienced significant damage and flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“Congratulations on this monumental achievement, and to the residents of Soundview Landing: welcome home,” said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, in taped remarks for the remote event.
The virtual ribbon cutting event, conducted as a Zoom meeting, marked the formal opening of Phase Two and featured a video tour, video testimonials from Soundview Landing residents and remarks from the many public- and private sector partners involved in the project.
“This is a true example of a wonderful partnership between state, local, federal and the private sector,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “I hope it serves as an example of how things can be accomplished to help other people.”
Trinity Financial, the Norwalk Housing Authority, and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency worked with residents, local and state agencies to develop a design for the new buildings that is modern, attractive, sustainable and flood resilient.
“I really can’t think of a better project to illustrate how we systematically address so many of today’s economic challenges,” said Brian Bidoli of the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency. “It’s a testament to the power of partnerships: not just a building, but rather a transformation of an entire neighborhood.”
Nandini Natarajan, CEO of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, called the collaborative effort to dramatically upgrade the more than half-century-old Washington Village “truly remarkable.”
“You have replaced the 1940s with the 2020s,” Natarajan said.
Phase One of Soundview Landing was completed in July 2018. Phase Three is currently under construction. Upon completion of all phases, the former 136-unit Washington Village public housing project will have been replaced with 273 new, modern apartments, inclusive of a one-for-one replacement of the 136 public housing units that previously existed.
“Safe, decent, affordable housing: In our field that is often the mantra,” said Adam Bovilsky, Executive Director of the Norwalk Housing Authority. “But we also know we can go so far above and beyond (that).”
Bovilsky said by “deconcentrating poverty through mixed income developments” such as Soundview Landing, low-income households experience improved outcomes and more success in education, overall health and quality of life, and lifetime economic attainment.
Other speakers at the Soundview Landing Phase Two ribbon cutting included HUD Regional Administrator David Tille, Congressman Jim Himes, State Sen. Bob Duff, NHA Board Chair the Rev. Jeffrey Ingraham; Seila Mosquera-Bruno, Conn. Department of Housing Commissioner, and David Lehman of the Conn. Department of Economic and Community Development.
“This virtual ribbon cutting underscored something I have said before about the effort around Soundview Landing: communities are stronger when we all come together,” said Trinity Financial Vice President of Development Michael Lozano “We have one more phase to go and this vision will be fully realized. But today we are thrilled for the residents who, with completion of Phase Two, will be calling Soundview Landing home.”