St. Paul’s Flax Hill Cooperative Begins Renovation, Energy Upgrade Project

Study financing provided by Capital for Change, Housing Development Fund, and Connecticut Green Bank

 

October 31, 2017, Norwalk, CT – St. Paul’s Flax Hill Cooperative Inc., a property managed by The Simon Konover Company (TSKC), is pleased to announce the closing of financing for an energy upgrade study which will identify, analyze, and define the technical and economic feasibility of installing energy upgrades, as well as health and safety related improvements, to the property.

This energy upgrade study is financed through a $100,000 loan extended by Capital for Change (C4C) and $30,000 Pre-Development Energy Loan from the Housing Development Fund Inc. (HDF), in conjunction with the Connecticut Green Bank and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Cooperative is also using $25,000 of its own reserves.

“St. Paul’s has been here for more than 40 years and the members have done a great job in keeping the community thriving and affordable,” said Rodolfo “Rudy” Carranza, who grew up at St. Paul’s and is now the cooperative’s Board President. “But we knew we needed help to make it through the next 40 years.” 

Carranza is also employed by the State of Connecticut as a Building Maintainer at Housatonic Community College. He has experience in HVAC and knowledge in construction. He knows the challenges his community faced to address their most critical needs.

“The members were concerned about rising utility bills and the capital repairs that needed to be addressed.  This was a big challenge for us and we were worried that the cost of the renovations would be too much for some of the members to afford,” said Carranza. “We knew we needed to tackle the problem with a team of professionals and come up with a plan to move forward. The financing provided by the Connecticut Green Bank and Capital for Change has helped us bring together the right team to create that plan and a way to finance the work so we can keep St. Paul’s affordable, not just for our families but for the generations to come.”

The property, located at 28 Martin Luther King Drive in Norwalk, is an 86-unit cooperative serving low and moderate income families. The anticipated renovations have a strong focus on energy improvements to both the common utilities and the energy performance of individual units. These renovations include: replacement of entry doors, sliders, and windows; replacement of roofing and vinyl siding; upgrading refrigerators, sinks, and toilets; installing new gas fired furnaces and water heaters, smoke detectors, and programmable thermostats. The firms to provide the professional services have not yet been selected.

After the study is completed, the co-op plans to refinance the project through the HUD 223(f) program with Century Health Capital, Inc. of Saratoga Springs, NY, as well as funding from the Department of Housing, project reserves, and energy rebates.

“We are pleased to help this project realize the benefits of energy improvements.” offered Cal Vinal, President & CEO of Capital For Change. “Leveraging the energy efficiency cost savings to help pay for the renovations is an efficient way to improve the property.”

“HDF is very excited to be partnering with Connecticut Green Bank and C4C in the pre-development financing of an important energy efficiency initiative for St. Paul’s Flax Hill Co-op in Norwalk,” said Elissa A. Bard, Director of Multifamily Lending at HDF. “This project will ultimately bring important energy efficiency upgrades and energy savings for this 86-unit affordable property.”

The Pre-Development Energy Loan Program from HDF and the Connecticut Green Bank was created to promote clean energy and energy-related health and safety improvements in multifamily affordable housing properties across the State of Connecticut. This program includes funding from the MacArthur Foundation designated to address critical obstacles to making multifamily energy efficiency improvements, allowing borrowers to cover the costs of energy audits, opportunity assessments, property condition reports and other work necessary to secure permanent project financing.

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