Press Release from The Foundation for Norfolk Living

July, 2014

The Foundation for Norfolk Living (“FNL”), a non-profit housing organization, has announced an expansion of its Norfolk Town Center Rental Project as the result of an offer of a gift of rental property from Ralph Burr. About a year ago, FNL obtained options to purchase #40 and #46 Greenwoods Road West from their owners. These options allowed it to convert a Connecticut Department of Housing Predevelopment loan intended for a new home ownership development from on Old Colony Road, for use in its Town Center affordable rental project.

Our plan is to combine the two properties and create 6 affordable housing rental apartments. With the predevelopment funds we hired an Architect, Henry Schadler Associates and an Engineer, Ken Hrica to help us develop a plan for permitting, funding and ultimately construction. The Foundation has also been working closely with David Berto, Housing Enterprises, a consultant who has guided it though the web of affordable housing funding and compliance requirements. Since the beginning of its work several years ago, The Foundation has also benefited from the support and organizational guidance of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation  (LISC), a non-profit housing group.

During the course of obtaining a zoning Special Use Permit, Tom Burr and William Dobbins approached The Foundation about a possible donation of the multi-family property at 29-33 Greenwoods Road East, containing 6 rental apartments, owned by Tom’s father, Ralph. In expressing FNL’s gratitude for the proposed gift, spokesman, Lou Barbagallo, said “as the result of Ralph Burr’s thoughtfulness, hard work, and personal “hands-on” approach to caring for the properties, he has been providing affordable housing in Norfolk for decades. A donation of the property to the FNL would mean that we could continue his legacy.” Kate Johnson, FNL Treasurer, elaborated that “the timing of this offer was serendipitous. By rolling the Burr Property into our application for state funding for purchasing and renovating #40 and #46, we reduced the per unit cost and we could include energy upgrades such as insulation, new windows etc for the Burr Property—a win-win.

In addition to our gratitude to the Burr family, we also appreciate the cooperation and support of the owners of #40 and 46, who have been very patient  throughout this long process.”  While The Foundation is a 501.c.3 tax exempt, non-profit corporation, it remains committed to the idea that its work should not result in a burden on the town.  As Mr. Barbagallo explained, “We recognize that our rental properties and its residents would enjoy the benefits of town services like everyone else.  Accordingly, we have sought to create a sustainable business model that includes a business plan with a payment in lieu of taxes and our funding application to the state stipulates for that fact.  Ultimately our goal is to create attractive affordable housing for people, including young people seeking to establish roots in Norfolk and independent seniors seeking to stay in town, who will be citizens who can actively contribute their time and talent to the community.”

An application to fund the purchase and renovation of the properties was submitted to the Connecticut Department of Housing on June 16th.  We expect to hear a decision on our application in the fall.  If approved The Foundation anticipates actual funding to begin in early 2015.