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Affordable Housing , Community Development

Working in and with Hartford’s Asylum Hill Neighborhood

14 May 2013

Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA) was formed in 2003 to help revitalize the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford.  We were formed by the major institutions of the neighborhood — Aetna, The Hartford, Saint Francis Hospital, and Webster Bank — and we work in and with the neighborhood as we pursue our common goals of building a community by identifying and restoring Asylum Hill’s critical assets.

Chief among these assets are Asylum Hill’s historic homes. NINA acquires these big, old homes, too many of which have fallen into disrepair, even blight, over the last thirty years. We meticulously restore the home, doing the deferred maintenance that has accumulated over 50 years, and we then put the home on the market as an opportunity for a low- or moderate-income family to own as their home, more often than not their first.  Because we sell at what the market will bear, rather than at what it cost us to restore, these families immediately begin to build equity, and they invest not only in their houses but in their community as well.

Working with our partners in the neighborhood — ServCorps, the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association, our founding members, and funders LISC, CHIF, CL&P — we have rehabilitated seven single-family and six two-family homes.  We are currently restoring our first mixed-use building, which will have retail, office, and residential space, and four more homes.  We’re also making plans for two vacant lots on which we’ll build up to five new homes.

NINA is committed to building opportunities for families in Asylum Hill.  We’d love to show it to you — feel free to call us (860-244-9390) for a tour!  We’re sure you’ll believe in Hartford just as much as we do.

David Corrigan is the Program Manager at Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance.

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