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Houses to be built for first-time homeowners in Hartford

Vacant, contaminated lots were cleaned up to build new homes for first-time homeowners in the Clay Arsenal neighborhood.

HARTFORD, Conn. — City and community leaders united Thursday to congratulate and toast the groundbreaking of three new homes under construction in the capital city.

Mayor Luke Bronin said they took vacant and contaminated lots on Edwards Street, and cleaned them up to build new homes for first-time homeowners in hopes of lifting the Clay Arsenal neighborhood. 

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"The owners have the opportunity to live and raise their families and build wealth and rent out a second unit to help support that mortgage," Bronin explained.

Construction for the new homes was made possible by EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant and HOME funds from the DDS Housing Division. 

Hartford police chief, Jason Thody said having more homeowners means more people are invested in the neighborhood's quality of life.

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"This seed is just the beginning," Thody said. "It will grow, and everything around it will start to look better. I assure you, we've seen it time and time again." 

One person planting seeds as a first-time homeowner is Irma Merced. She said the moment is surreal and is often left speechless thinking about it. 

Merced added that her faith and family brought her to this point. 

"As my grandkids kept coming in and coming in, I said I have to put my foot down and make sure I have a playground for them-- which will be my own home," Merced said.

Mayor Bronin explained that this is modular construction using new technology, and the hope is to have the ribbon cutting for these homes by Christmas.

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Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.comFollow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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