13 NINA HuntingtonThis past Saturday welcomed a community event on Asylum Hill.  Very much a celebration to cut the ribbon on a new house built by NINA!  Well-attended and most certainly a cause to celebrate new neighbors as homeowners on Huntington Street.

As the belle of the ball this splendid reproduction of a Victorian single-family house joins a neighborhood once filled with such houses befitting a prosperous community.  Many examples of lovely houses dot Asylum Hill, many of which continue to be well-maintained, proudly owned by longstanding neighbors as well as new arrivals hoping to live and work in Hartford. NINA has worked for many years to recreate lovely homes which attract buyers who want to invest in the sense of history which is in this city and lives on in its architecture.  Its mission to renovate and recreate historic homes is one to be cherished by those of us who call Hartford home.

Not only does the new home on Huntington Street represent a beautiful addition to the neighborhood but also a contribution to the rate of homeownership here.  Hartford has a homeownership rate of 25% on a good day and is concentrated in a handful of communities.  Sadly, Asylum Hill hovers at 10%.  These rates suggest that individuals do not make an investment to live in the city.  I speak as a former affordable housing developer who believes that holding a long-term lease represents an asset for many residents.  Yet a balance of owners and renters has to be struck if there is to be a robust city with access to safe, decent, affordable housing for everyone.  As in many things communities out of balance is not healthy.  As Hartford struggles we need to work toward attracting more homeowners to increase stability and to help support the vitality of a truly historic city.

So, join me in welcoming the delightful new home and its new owners to the Asylum Hill Neighborhood.  Long may you prosper!

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