At Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury (NHSW) providing a home is just the start. A home is more than a financial asset, it has a deep emotional meaning the residents utilizing the space. Homes provides us with comfort, safety, and a sense of community and fellowship. Our homes shape us into the people we are meant to be by defining our morals, community, and sense of place.
As a non-profit organization, we strive to revitalize the city of Waterbury, one neighborhood at a time through our homeownership counseling, community engagement and by providing affordable housing through rehabilitation, restoration, and new construction. We pride ourselves with providing residents with the necessary skills to become responsible homeowners who take pride within their neighborhood. We don't just build a home, we work carefully with architects and contractors to design and rehabilitate homes based on place. We pride ourselves in always considering the historic fabric, location, and needs of the community and its residents. At NHSW we want to provide sustainable and affordable homes that help us to preserve the meaning of home.
When I first saw 933 Cooke Street, I noticed 2 things immediately. DEMO was spray painted in orange across the front and the home had some of the most delicate architectural details any historic preservationist or architect would drool over. This home was built with a degree of craftsmanship rarely seen in our modern buildings of the 21st century. The city of Waterbury once housed the largest brassware industry in the U.S. which is clear by the beautiful architectural significant homes scattered throughout the city, along with the abandoned mills and brownfields.
This multi-family home with it's cherry red door and french blue exterior clearly had once provided a family with shelter and security and was in desperate need of repair. At NHSW, we typically work within the city's north end. This home was a scattered site we found to be in a prime location in regard to the accessibility to Chase Avenue which houses various big box stores and restaurants. We had acquired the property through a local bank with the hopes of rehabilitating the home to help change the current tenure of the city from a predominately renter's market to homeownership. We had also received a line of credit to start work on the home and we submitted a grant to help us complete the rehab project, but it was denied, therefore we are desperate need of financial assistance to help us complete this project. Once we've received the remaining funds it will help us with painting, framing, electrical work, and reconnecting the utility lines.
After the rehabilitation has been completed, we will work with potential home buyers through our Homeownership Counseling Program to make them financially eligible for this home. After we’ve found a homebuyer we will conduct a walkthrough with the homebuyer to help them understand the layout of their new home in regard to safety and security. We will also work with the new landlord to find reliable renters which in turn provides income stability for the owner and serves as an example for the renter for the possibility of homeownership.
Please help us preserve home, family, and history by helping us restore this house back to it’s former glory so it can continue to provide security for a family in need.
Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.