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Norwalk Gets $1.7M In State Funds To Convert Building Into Community Center

Connecticut Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein
Connecticut Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- The Connecticut Department of Housing awarded a $1.74 million grant Thursday to the City of Norwalk to assist in the conversion of an abandoned historic industrial building into the SoNo Life Center. 

The SoNo Life Center will be a mixed-use community services center with 16 units of permanent supportive housing,  a medical clinic and a job training center.

The SoNo grant is part of nearly $28 million awarded to support the development of affordable housing across Connecticut. It as part of the latest round of funding under the state’s Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties program, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein announced Thursday. 

The SoNo Life Center is one of eight CHAMP recipients. When the project is completed, it will bring together — under one roof — permanent supportive housing with accessible medical, mental health, and outpatient addiction treatment as well as job training to address the most pressing needs of the chronically homeless.

“Affordable housing is a key component of economic growth and stability,” Klein said. “These investments throughout the state ensure Connecticut’s continued economic recovery and the ability to remain an attractive state to call home, work and raise a family.

"The CHAMP funding rounds provide an excellent opportunity for municipalities to attract a workforce, keep seniors in their community, give young families a start and provide a home to someone who has been homeless," Klein said. "I am proud to say that we have made real progress when it comes to expanding access to affordable housing while working to prevent and end homelessness.” 

CHAMP, administered by the housing department, provides developers and owners of multifamily affordable housing the necessary gap financing to create more affordable units in their developments. 

The CHAMP awards will play a role in helping to create, rehabilitate or preserve 200 units of affordable housing and focus on expanding access to transit-oriented development, creating new veterans housing units and adding supportive housing for those who are living with disabilities. 

“Affordable housing is key to creating vibrant communities that attract families, workers, businesses and private investments," Malloy said. "Access to housing helps boost competitiveness, attracts business and builds our economy."

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