When the Beautiful Blight Project was conceived its goal had been to install painted plywood over missing windows in a neglected building while tidying up the yard. Team leaders had been working with the City of Hartford to make this happen, but the first choice of a structure on Garden Street was said to have entered the sale process, so that was nixed. Continue reading 'Beautiful Blight Project Unveils Murals'»
As the controversial Downtown North proposal goes to vote on Tuesday, there are still dozens of questions remaining unanswered, not to mention an outstanding FOIA request placed initially to Thomas Deller and Wayne Benjamin, and now to Maribel La Luz. Two camps seem to have emerged on this issue, and it’s not pro-stadium/anti-stadium. It’s those who find it reasonable to ask questions and expect thorough, detailed answers, and those who find critical thinking cringe-worthy.
We have been compiling reader questions since June. Here is what people still want to know about this project. Some reader questions were edited to add clarity:
- What details exist on the retail space and potential tenants?
- The City would be contributing land for the the construction of a brewery. Is it acceptable to use public funds to facilitate the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol?
- What would the rent be for the housing? Would this fulfill the demand for the type of housing that exists in Hartford?
- How exactly would a stadium drive development? Give details. How has this occurred in cities that are comparable to Hartford in terms of population and wealth?
- Why isn’t there a proposal without a stadium?
- What documents were the task force provided with to help guide their process? What was the selection process criteria for the advisory committee/panel appointed by the development director? (This is the Real Hartford FOIA request that was placed on September 11, 2014 and has gone unfulfilled despite reminders) Continue reading 'Reader Questions About Downtown North Development'»
In August it came to light that the budget for the Salvation Army’s Marshall House had been cut. Conversations on restoring that funding appeared to be going nowhere in City Hall, but once the issue was given local media attention, there was a rush to find ways to move money around. What kind of city would Hartford be if it cut the funding for one of the few shelters that serves women and families, and acts as a no-freeze shelter on especially cold days?
The promise to restore funding was made official at Monday’s City Council meeting when the transfer of $100,000 from the Sundry Account to the Department of Health & Human Services was passed.
Bedbugs happen. Just like your son might come home from school once with lice or you might find a mouse in your kitchen or your cat drags fleas into the house, pests are for most, a rare nuisance. From 2011 to present, bedbugs have been reported throughout Hartford, from streets like Kenyon, Fairfield, and Cornwall, to Marshall, Wethersfield, and Farmington. They have been reported in single-family homes, high rises, and churches. But what does it mean when some properties have multiple incidents in one year, or year after year?
Although the information is public, we are not interested in embarrassing property owners who had one unlucky occurrence. Instead, we are going to look at some patterns. These reports are divided into those with two or three violations in one year (these are considered housing code violations) and those with four or more in one year.
In some cases, the repeat offenders involved just one unit of a larger building, but in other cases the problem affected public hallways in buildings with multiple dwelling units. When a property owner with multiple properties had multiple violations, or when there might be public interest in a location that had been affected, we named those owners.
Keeping homeless shelters open is not a new struggle in Hartford, but this time, the some $100,000 that was expected for the Salvation Army Marshall House vanished between the recommended budget and the adopted budget. A mere five-minute walk from what will be the CTfastrak Sigourney Street Station, the Marshall House has provided shelter for single women and families since 1974.
The adopted budget for the “Senior and Community Services Program” is $2.13M, down from the $2.2M in the recommended budget. This is where budgeting for the Marshall House, which serves as a no-freeze shelter for families, can be found in the City document. The 2013-2014 budget was $2.36M and reasons for the decrease in funding have been vague; the spending difference is explained only for the Health and Human Services budget as a whole. Continue reading 'Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter'»
The Front Street Lofts development is starting to take shape. This will provide five stories of apartments, totaling 121 units, and street-level retail space.
According to Steve Frank of Hartford’s Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, there are over 1000 veterans who own homes in Hartford. Fifty of those properties were determined to be eligible for assistance. That means owner-occupied, current on taxes, and there being a need for some fixing of the property.
Three properties in each district will get spruced up, with work beginning in August. About $15,000-20,000 will be spent on each home.
Got $4000 burning a hole in your wallet?
The City of Hartford is holding a Tax Deed Sale on June 28 in the Bulkeley High Auditorium. Registration is from 8-9:45am; sale begins at 10am. You will need that deposit money in form of cash, cashier’s check, bank treasurer’s check, teller’s check, or certified check at the auction. There are other stipulations, but that, and not owing property tax yourself, are the big ones.
The property owners have been given six months notice before properties placed in auction. Winning bidders will not receive title until six months after purchase, as the owner has opportunity for redemption. Here are the properties:
If this isn’t the right time for you but you just want to see what the auction process looks like, you can still show up to watch the action.
Decades have passed since neighborhood organizations in Hartford made city leaders nervous. At one time, these once legendary community organizations took over city council meetings, worked to bring better housing conditions to city renters, and held sway over local elections. Now Hartford Areas Rally Together (HART), Asylum Hill Organizing Project (AHOP), and ONE/CHANE are long gone or husks of their former self. These once vital groups used classic, Alinsky-style neighborhood organizing to keep City Hall and other Hartford powerbrokers in check. Today we see groups like HART simply cashing checks written by powerbrokers. Community organizing that has been dormant for too long in our city. Now, a new group is rising and working to fill the void.
The John C. Clark School in Hartford’s north end has been the site of many skirmishes in recent months over the direction of school reform in the city. But from these battles a new community organization and coalition of residents and neighborhood leaders has emerged. The group, called Hartford Rising!, has grown into a multi-issue community group that just this past weekend established a Community Bill of Rights to “ensure and protect each and every Hartford citizen’s most basic needs.”
Beginning with a city-wide canvas, Hartford Rising! worked to identify key areas of concern for city residents. With nearly 3,000 doors knocked on, the group was able to Continue reading 'Rising Tide: A Community Bill of Rights'»
Center Church will host a memorial service for homeless people in Hartford who have passed over in the last year.
The service begins at 11am on December 21st in the church at the corner of Main and Gold. Refreshments will be provided following the 90-minute service.