Darien Breaks Ground On Allen O'Neill Development
DARIEN, Conn. – Darien broke ground Monday on a new affordable housing development in the area of the Allen O’Neill homes. The Heights at Darien, a106-unit development, will be the largest affordable housing development in town.
Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, state Sen. Bob Duff and other officials were on hand to celebrate as Darien took steps to alleviate its need for affordable housing.
“I firmly believe that people deserve the opportunity to remain in the communities in which they were born, or have lived in for long periods of time, understanding that financial circumstances can and will change for individuals,” Malloy said. His administration recently committed $500 million for affordable housing over the next 10 years. “This commitment that Darien is living and seeing through is greatly appreciated.”
The Allen O’Neill area was the site of the country’s first home for veterans, which opened in 1864. In 1940, it moved to Rocky Hill. In 1950, the Allen O’Neill homes were built and stood for more than 60 years.
The redevelopment will double the size of the complex from 53 single-family units to 106 units, which will vary from one bedroom to four bedrooms. There will be 24 buildings, including a community center. The project is financed by the Darien Housing Authority, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and other partners, including Arthur Anderson, John McClutchy and Citigroup.
Blumenthal reflected on his time serving Darien as a state senator and remembered a welcome from the residents of Allen O’Neill.
“When we talk about affordable housing, we need to remember they’re not just numbers or statistics. They are people, who add immeasurably to the diversity and vibrancy of a community and help make Darien the great community it is.”
Himes praised the bipartisan nature of the project and the number of groups that came together to make it happen.
“It’s not a Republican or Democratic thing, this idea that teachers and firefighters ought to be able to live in the communities that they serve,” he said. “This is something worth fighting for, and it has motivated these many people who understand the challenges of doing so.”
The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
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