The Opportunity Link Project:
Connecting Housing Acquisition to High Performing Schools
Open Communities Alliance (OCA) is partnering with the National Housing Trust (NHT) to pilot an innovative strategy for preserving and expanding affordable housing in higher opportunity areas. Through this joint project, NHT will acquire, potentially with local partners, multifamily properties in higher opportunity areas throughout Connecticut and set aside a percentage of units for low income families. OCA will work to pinpoint higher opportunity geographies and connect NHT to local investment and management partners.
The ideal properties would be at least 30 units, and preferably closer to 75 units, located in higher opportunity areas as defined by OCA’s opportunity mapping. These properties will receive cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades and potentially other renovations. As units turn over, up to 15-20% of the apartments will be populated with qualified low income families, most likely households participating in the Housing Choice Voucher or Rental Assistance Programs. In addition, NHT will consider making these set aside units deed restricted affordable units, which could help towns working towards the Affordable Housing Appeals Act’s (8-30g) moratoria or exemption levels.
This strategy preserves existing affordable units, ensures that they are available to low income families, avoids zoning entanglements, and creates access to some of Connecticut’s most resource-rich communities.