Grant to help Operation Hope purchase duplexes on Durrell Drive
FAIRFIELD — The town and Operation Hope are looking to increase the affordable housing stock, thanks to a grant from the state.
The state will provide up to $650,000 to help Operation Hope buy and rehabilitate four housing units in two duplexes at 21-23 and 63-65 Durrell Drive.
“These are privately owned and rentals,” currently, Mark Barnhart, Economic and Community Development director, said. “This will preserve the units as affordable rental housing for the long term as the current owner wanted to sell and divest himself from the property.”
Barnhart said there may also be an opportunity to create additional affordable housing on the property, which is off of Unquowa Road, and within walking distance of the train station, downtown and bus lines.
Both duplexes were built in 1995, and each unit has two bedrooms and a full bathroom. They are owned by CAP Properties, LLC, of Newtown. The house at 63-65 Durrell Drive is appraised at $214,200, while 21-23 Durrell Drive has an appraisal of $265,500.
The $650,000 grant is being provided by the Department of Housing’s High Opportunity Area Housing Program.
The managing member of CAP Properties is Thomas Christiano, and the duplexes are listed by the town as rentals for seniors and disabled that are owned by entities other than the town.
Carla Miklos, executive director at Operation Hope, said the purchase details have not yet been worked out, but added that they hope to close soon.
She said the state funding will also help with the renovations, but they will need to pursue additional support and financing to complete the project.
Robert Bellitto, a board member for the non-profit, said, "Operation Hope’s mission is to permanently solve homelessness through affordable housing.”
He said the state has “truly supported” Operation Hope’s mission by directly funding the purchase of the Durrell Drive units. “People who would otherwise be on the street will be house, and have a real chance at positive and lasting change,” Bellitto said.