Hartford Apartment Project Should Serve Mix Of Incomes
Hartford Courant Editorial
July 22, 2013
Top city officials were telling people for weeks that the proposed conversion of the former Hartford Office Supply Co. building on Capitol Avenue in Hartford would be a split between market-rate and affordable, rent-restricted apartments.
But it turns out that is not the case, as Courant business writer Ken Gosselin reported Wednesday. He cited a May 16 letter in which the developer, Dakota Partners of Waltham, Mass., says all 112 apartments in the $30 million project will be affordable units.
The half-and-half split is a much better idea.
As cities have learned from long experience with public housing projects, the concentration of low-income people is problematic. The stratification of the metro-Hartford region by income also is not healthy. Yet for years the state has encouraged low-income people to settle in Hartford, through a variety of housing subsidies.
To some degree that makes sense; people need housing and the city has traditionally been the first rung on the ladder, the place to get started. But Hartford also needs middle-class people.
There are already two major affordable housing complexes very close to the Capitol Avenue building. It's in a stable area, within walking distance of major employers and near downtown and the busway, so it should be appealing to market-rate renters.
Downtown buildings have mixed-income tenants, and so should neighborhood buildings. City officials should encourage this outcome.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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