FAIRFIELD — Carol Landsman didn’t want the Fairfield Housing Authority to single her out at Friday’s grand opening of the new Pine Tree apartments, but they did anyway.

“Every decision she makes is driven by the question, ‘Will this help our residents,’” Vice Chairman John Madeo said. The board dedicated the community room at the affordable housing complex to Landsman.

“Affordable housing is really important,” Landsman said. “It’s very important for a variety of reasons. So our children and our parents have a place to live in the community they love, so the people who serve us here, the police, the teachers, the firefighters, have a place to live.”

And its important for the future, so that children can live in a place where they receive a quality education, she said.

Once home to single-story brick buildings, with small apartments limited to income-eligible senior citizens and disabled residents, the property now has several two-story buildings, and a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, for a total of 50 units. The rentals are now open to all ages, so long as they meet income guidelines.

The $17.9 million project on Pine Tree Lane was built using funds from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and a $5.81 million investment from California-based Alden Financial. Alden is now eligible for federal tax credits.

The Pine Tree complex, Nick Lundgren, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Housing, said demonstrates what can be accomplished with leadership at the local level and support at the state level.

“We all know every community needs affordable housing,” Lundgren said.

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-28, said while he may not always agree with the state’s Democratic governor, as far as housing goes, “I want to publicly acknowledge the great work of the governor and the Department of Housing.”

“But make no mistake,” Hwang said, “we still have a long, long way to go.”

The Pine Tree complex is very special to state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, who grew up practically next door.

“This is such an important part of our community,” Kupchick said. “I am amazed at how this place looks. This is so nice, and I’m so excited for the people who are going to be able to enjoy it.”

Madeo expressed his thanks to Carol Martin, the FHA executive director, and Kupchick and Hwang.

“The have truly been champions,” he said.

greilly@ctpost.com; @GreillyPost