Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



March 9, 2021

Congressman Courtney, Senator Needleman Emphasize Importance of Affordable Housing at Centerbrook Redevelopment

This week, U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney (D) and State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) toured The Lofts At Spencer’s Corner, a redevelopment project in the heart of Centerbrook, to underscore and emphasize the importance of new affordable housing in local communities, especially when such housing can be created through redevelopment of key town properties. The Lofts, a redevelopment created by the HOPE Partnership, is the latest of that organization’s efforts to modernize and update older buildings to meet community needs. The mixed-use property has a variety of apartments on its second and third floors, while the first floor features retail and office space.

“The talented staff at HOPE, along with their volunteer supporters, did an outstanding job top to bottom on this project, which demonstrates the transformational difference that federal dollars through HUD’s HOME program can make,” said Congressman Courtney. “Recognizing the potential of a parcel built as commercial real estate, HOPE was able to utilize federal dollars to create new, modern apartments, helping bring attractive and affordable housing to the Essex and which will be occupied by younger, millennial-aged families that will help the town prosper. With my former-colleague from the Education and Labor Committee Marcia Fudge now at the helm at HUD, I look forward to helping bring more federal resources and opportunities like this one to eastern Connecticut—my office is here to help make those happen.”

“In many of Connecticut’s communities, we don’t have enough affordable housing to meet residents’ needs, which can cause a number of different problems,” said Sen. Needleman. “The HOPE Partnership’s work on The Lofts At Spencer’s Corner is exactly the kind of project that can better transform our communities to meet the needs of families and businesses simultaneously. By expanding access to affordable and sustainable housing while transforming local buildings into new sources of revenue, our communities and their residents all benefit from the process.”

The HOPE Partnership has for several years worked to redevelop properties with the intent of increasing access to affordable housing in efforts to reinvigorate local communities. The Center for Housing Policy reports affordable housing development often increases, not decreases, property values by injecting increased economic investment in the local community. A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition reported that if 100 new affordable rental housing units were developed, they could generate $12 million in annual income, more than $2 million in tax revenue and government funding and spur the creation of up to 160 jobs in a community in just one year.

In Middlesex County, where more than half of all renters spend at least 30 percent of income on housing annually, that’s more important than ever. The Lofts at Spencer’s Corner, located on Main Street in Centerbrook, is the HOPE Partnership’s latest property; it has previously developed Old Saybrook’s Ferry Crossing townhouse project, which offers 16 homes to families earning less than 80 percent of median area income and was completed in 2012, and is working to develop a 35-unit project in Madison with 24 affordable housing units.