Victory for Affordable Housing in Trumbull, Connecticut

February 14, 2003
With this new year comes new beginnings for forty-three families recently residing or preparing to reside in the Town of Trumbull, Connecticut.  The groundwork was laid more than nine years ago and a new development has finally come to fruition after a lot of hard work, dedication and cooperation from a collaboration of individuals and institutions, both public and private.

Trumbull Town Homes, LLC, an entity formed by Wiggin & Dana client Mutual Housing Association of Southwestern Connecticut, Inc. (“MHA”), was created for the purpose of providing affordable housing to families with low to moderate income.  In the fall of 2002, Trumbull Town Homes, LLC declared Trumbull Townhomes, a condominium,  and has recently completed the construction and development of forty-three residential units, a clubhouse and a recreation area.  The homes are townhouse style units on either two or three floors and most units have an attached garage.  All units are restricted to households whose incomes fall at or below 80 of the Bridgeport, Connecticut area median income and the majority of the purchasers are first time homebuyers.

In order to get the first shovel in the ground, the Town of Trumbull’s zoning regulations were amended to provide for a “Housing Opportunity Development Zone” (“HOD”).   The purpose of such zone is to encourage, among other things, the construction of affordable housing and flexibility in housing construction.

Wiggin & Dana assisted MHA in connection with negotiations with the Town of Trumbull, the various financings, condominium document preparation (including a public offering statement, a declaration, and the creation of a condominium association), and the closings on the sales of the units.

Financing

The many tiers of financing that went into this development are indicative of the diverse support for this development.  The financing ranged from the acquisition and construction loans from People’s Bank and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, to a loan/grant conversion from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) HOME Funds, administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development ("DECD"), to the grants from each of the Melville Charitable Trust, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (“NRC”) and the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program (“FHLB”). 

Closings

The unit closings have been occurring fast and furiously, as there has been no shortage of prospective purchasers.  As a result of the partial financing by HUD, DECD, FHLB and NRC, and in order to comply with the HOD regulations, certain land use restrictions have been imposed upon each unit owner for periods ranging from twenty (20) years up to ninety-nine (99) years.  Such restrictions include limits on the amount of the sales prices upon  resale, a requirement that subsequent purchasers be income-qualified, and soft second mortgages securing non-interest bearing notes that are payable only upon a violation of the resale restrictions.  Such restrictions, reflected in the condominium documents,  are necessary in order to preserve access to this affordable housing for low and moderate income households.

Founded in New Haven, Conn., in 1934 with predecessor firms dating back to the 19th century, Wiggin & Dana has more than 150 attorneys in four offices. The firm’s expertise includes all forms of real estate law, litigation and dispute resolution, antitrust, securities law, labor and employment, benefits, complex corporate transactions, health care and estate planning and administration.  For more information on the firm, visit the website at www.wiggin.com.