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A Path to Affordable Housing


Proposed architectural rendering, River Oak Commons, Old Lyme, CT

As many are aware, HOPE Partnership with Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development, our development partner, is in the process of seeking the necessary approvals to develop new, affordable housing communities on Neck Road in Old Lyme. We are writing today to share the story of HOPE and the path that brought us to this point.

In 2001, a group of local faith leaders became aware of a growing problem in the community, children in their homework clubs living in hotels or academic rentals without safe and stable homes. This realization prompted a call to action for community and faith leaders to provide housing options for the families in the community. HOPE Partnership, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, was formed in 2004 with the mission of developing affordable housing in lower Middlesex County and surrounding towns.

In 2012, HOPE, in partnership with the Women’s Institute, opened Ferry Crossing, an affordable development made up of 16 townhomes,located in Old Saybrook and since that time it has been fully occupied and has a waiting list for individuals hoping to make it their home.

Proposed architectural rendering, River Oak Commons, Old Lyme, CT

While HOPE was working in Old Saybrook, Old Lyme Affordable Housing (OLAH) was making similar efforts in Old Lyme. Old Lyme Affordable Housing was also formed by concerned community members with support from the faith community and the town of Old Lyme. In 2015, OLAH merged with HOPE Partnership to ensure their work would continue. With this combining of efforts, HOPE pledged to make developing affordable housing in Old Lyme a priority. As part of HOPE’s efforts, we actively pursued opportunities to meet with community groups to educate and advocate for affordable housing. We had a table at both the Lion’s Club Car Show and the Mid Summer’s Festival in 2017. Focusing on the need in Old Lyme, we met with members of three Old Lyme churches; Christ the King, Saint Ann’s and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme as well as the Old Lyme Lions Club.

Every year HOPE hosts a “Friendraiser” to share our efforts in the communities we serve. In 2016, it was there that the owner of property on Neck Road learned of our work and approached us to discuss working together to solve the issue of the lack of affordable housing in Old Lyme. Once discussions began it was HOPE’s task to determine the viability of building a community at the location.

Proposed architectural rendering, River Oak Commons, Old Lyme, CT

Working with local engineers, architects and housing consultants, HOPE and the owner of the property applied for and received a subdivision of the property into four separate lots in October 2017 from the Town of Old Lyme’s Planning Commission. HOPE’s plans include the two ”front lots” on Neck Road, while the owner will retain the two “rear” lots closer to the River . In November 2017, the team invited neighbors as well as stakeholders in the community to discuss the preliminary plans for the properties.