Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground
Ground has been broken on a new affordable housing project that will bring 27 new housing units to town by the end of 2024. The project, dubbed the Wellington at Madison, was brought by nonprofits The Caleb Foundation and HOPE Partnership and broke ground on Cottage Road during the first week of November.
The development will take root at 131 Cottage Road and will incorporate several existing structures into the design, including the historically significant Meigs House. According to Marianne McDermott, director of fundraising and communications for the Caleb Foundation and the Caleb Group, the Wellington at Madison will be a mixed-income rental community featuring 24 units of affordable housing and seven market-rate units on 2.6 acres.
“Projects like this are important to every single community, but especially to a community like Madison,” said McDermott. “Madison is a high opportunity community, and that evolution as such means housing costs a great deal in Madison. In order to have the potential for a more economically diverse community and a diverse community, you have to have housing that is accessible. And that includes older adults who, when they move from a generated income to a fixed income, their financial situation might change substantially, and so they are also in need of affordable housing that is directly tied to their income and the market rate. Every community really needs to make sure they can provide housing to a diverse range of people.”
The Wellington at Madison is set to include 24 units at multiple affordable tiers. Seven units will be set aside for households with incomes up to 25% of the area median income (AMI), 13 for households up to 50% of the AMI, and four units will be dedicated for households up to 60% of the AMI. The remaining seven units will be designated as market-rate homes.
McDermott said the new community offers a mix of 14 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom units. These 27 new units will join four existing market rate units, making a total of 31 units.
According to Kara Lindquist, executive director of HOPE Partnership, Wellington at Madison has been designed to fit seamlessly with the surrounding community and is within walking distance of public transit, local natural resources, and many amenities. The townhouse style homes will be constructed in alignment with LEED Platinum standards, “ensuring exceptional energy efficiency.”
McDermott added that future residents of Wellington at Madison can look forward to a well-equipped community, including management and resident services offices and a community room. A service coordinator will be available to connect residents with vital community services, fostering a thriving, supportive environment.
While the Wellington at Madison aims to be a well-equipped, modernized community, McDermott noted that the development will incorporate existing structures, including the historic Meigs House.
“Of special interest is the re-use of the historic building on the site. The 1808 home of Henry Josiah Meigs will become four apartments. The exterior of the building, the fireplaces, and some of the original interior wood details will be preserved as part of this project,” said McDermott.
The development comes thanks to a collaboration between HOPE Partnership and The Caleb Foundation, but a joint statement from the organizations thanked the efforts of the town of Madison as well as funding from the National Equity Fund, Connecticut Department of Housing, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and Webster Bank. Haynes Construction Company, a Seymour, CT-based firm, is responsible for bringing the project to life.”
Lindquist said the project will be a crucial component in the effort to build affordable housing along the shoreline, an area that is witnessing a steadily increasing demand for all levels of housing.
“Affordable housing is a critical issue in the entire state of Connecticut. When you look at the data, the existing housing stock is not enough to house all the households who already live in Connecticut. Add to that the recent net gain of people moving to Connecticut, and we will continue to see increasing housing costs. The town of Madison and other similar towns along the shoreline are in need of affordable housing because the housing stock in these towns is very uniform. With few exceptions, homes in these towns are single-family homes on large lots, which are, of course, the most expensive style of home. We see that older people, including those with fixed incomes, struggle to find a place to live in their towns after they no longer can afford or are unable to maintain this type of home,” said Lindquist. “On the opposite end of the spectrum, younger people, who generally have lower incomes, are unable to move to these towns because they cannot afford to purchase a large home. Anecdotally, we have heard from several people who are very interested in moving back to Madison after some years away, but they can't find anywhere they can afford to live.”