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Trumbull Senior community to see needed upgrades

October 9, 2018

Replacing windows and sidewalks may not seem like a big deal to some, but for the residents at Stern Village, it can go a long way toward a better quality of life.

Trumbull residents living at the 62-and-older community at 200 Hedgehog Circle are looking forward to a series of promised upgrades to their community and units with the help of roughly $5.3 million of state funding. Stern Village was one of 10 affordable housing projects statewide to receive a portion of $31 million in funding from the state Department of Housing this summer.

“We’re trying to get it all done to make it a safe, relaxing place,” said resident Maureen Bova, who is also a member of the community’s Residents Association Board. “It’s in a beautiful neighborhood. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The senior community, which has been around since 1970, received the funds to help with infrastructure improvements as wells as unit rehabilitation, including repairs to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, window and door replacements, and insulation.

In 2013, the state Housing and Finance Authority determined that the community was at risk based on a Capital Needs Assessment. In its old age, Stern Village has its share of problems that need fixing, particularly with sewage and pot holes that have tripped up residents up in the past, Bova said.

Renovations to the community should begin in coming weeks, said Harriet Polansky, executive director of the Trumbull Housing Authority, which owns Stern Village.

“A lot of these things have not been touched in many years and therefore it’s falling apart, so we have to really correct it in the right way to make sure our residents will live safely,” she said.

Renovations will be dependent on the weather, dictating where crews begin their work. The plan is to start with the roofs and finish work on the roads by the spring or summer of next year, Polansky said.

The process is expected to last around two years, but Polansky said officials want to also rehabilitate all units on site over the course of five to 10 years with additional funding. There are 186 existing units in Stern Village — 100 efficiency homes and 86 one-bedrooms units.

There are also 36 units of housing in the community’s Stern Center congregate building, for residents with difficulties performing daily activity, that has 36 efficiency units.

“Little by little we hope to get additional monies from other sources so that we can do what we need to do,” Polansky said.

Upgrades to Stern Village have been a long time coming, according Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro.

“It’s really life changing for these people,” she said. “Everyone deserves a safe place to live and a place that is clean and has what they need, and I think they are finally going to get that here at Stern Village.”

Tesoro has maintained a position that Trumbull needs a more diverse housing market, including for seniors.

Aside from Stern Village, Trumbull has a variety of senior housing sites, including Spring Meadow and Middlebrook Farms with more expected in coming years. A senior housing project proposed for 101-109 Oakview Drive was recently approved and is supposed to bring 128 units of units of housing for the elderly.

Another project is up for review by P&Z.

“We’re getting more choices for our seniors which is a good thing in our community to allow our seniors to remain in place in Trumbull, so more choices is always better,” Tesoro said.

Jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com

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