Our second Community Conversation in the #BuildWithUs series will take place on Wednesday, April 6th, from 6:30PM – 8:00PM at Amistad Academy (130 Edgewood Ave. New Haven, CT, 06511).
“Build With Us: Mental Health is Community Health” will bring together Dwight community members and community leaders for a roundtable discussion on mental and behavioral health as building blocks for strong communities. 🏠
The holidays may be over, but we’re still feeling the cheer! This past December, the Jeep family and New Haven Police Department donated toys for the children at our Kensington Square community, Loyalty and Delisa’s Dallas Cowboys Club donated gift bags and essentials to our Victory Gardens Housing residents, and Next Level Ministries donated $100 gift cards and groceries to all residents at our Mountain Valley Senior community. We’re incredibly thankful to our partners and neighbors for making the end of 2021 joyful.
Due to the Friends of Kensington Playground lawsuit impacting the start of construction and renovations for the Kensington Square Redevelopment Project, TCB is working with our funders and the City of New Haven to move forward with the restructured project which separates renovations from the new construction component of the project. Currently, the state bond commission approval has been received and an environmental review is in progress for the restructured project. Closing on the project is anticipated to occur 30-50 days after financing is finalized.
RESIDENTS: Residents in the first round of renovations will receive 30-45 days notice prior to the start of renovations. Residents will be contacted by TCB’s Relocation Coordinator to assist with any needs and answer any questions related to the temporary relocation while the renovations are underway. As a reminder, once renovations begin we will assist you with the temporary moves during construction and all costs related to moving will be paid for by Kensington Square ll. TCB will provide moving boxes, storage units for your belongings, and coordinate the move out/move in process with moving companies.
“If people have jobs and kids have opportunities, I think that the community ends up being healthy…What we see in our neighborhood are simply just the symptoms of poverty.” – Dwight Alder Tyisha Walker-Myers
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Community Conversation: Build With Us – How Do We Build Safer Communities, Together?
We’re especially thankful to our speakers:
Moderator Stacy Spell of Project Longevity
Dr. Rick Crouse of Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs and the Dwight Central Management Team
Debroah DeJarnette of The Connection
Tyisha Walker-Myers of the New Haven Board of Alders
Due to the ongoing litigation regarding Kensington Park, TCB has been working with the City of New Haven and with our funders to find a way to start renovations while the lawsuit is being resolved. To allow for renovations to begin on the 96 units slated for rehab as part of Kensington II, the Kensington Square Redevelopment Project is currently being restructured to allow for the separation of the renovation component of the project from the new construction.
You can view the Project Change notification from the City of New Haven here, which outlines the decision to split the project in two phases. This update was provided to those who commented in the HUD Environmental Review process.
“Having lived in the Dwight neighborhood since I was 5 years old, this is not the first time I’ve seen a group stand in the way of improvements that would serve the people living here. Our neighbors need housing, jobs, and clean, safe parks for their children. By attempting to stop this project, the fight to “save” Kensington Playground is at the direct expense of the people who call Dwight home.” – Delisa Tolson, owner of Advance Child Care Center on New Haven’s Kensington Street and TCB Commercial Tenant
Check out this op-ed in the CT Mirror from long-time Dwight community member and local business owner Delisa Tolson on the lawsuit impacting the Kensington Square Revitalization Project.
From the desk of Kensington Square’s new Community Engagement Coordinator:
My name is Nancy Cotto-Bowles and I am the Community Engagement Coordinator at The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB). My role at TCB will be to help support you during the renovations to Kensington Square II and to connect you to resources and activities in the community.
I have an extensive background in human services and recovery and gained immense knowledge in family relations, substance abuse, trauma, and domestic violence. I have experience providing outreach support to families to identify the proper channels for locating resources of support and navigate the process to ensure families get access to required services.
I look forward to meeting you at various upcoming events that we would like for you all to join, such as a cookout, back-to-school backpack event, and the redevelopment of the day in Chapel Street Park. Next week, I will be distributing tomato and pepper plants to families interested in planting vegetables. If you are interested in any of these activities, you can call me at the number below.
I will be holding a coffee hour on July 1st for all residents at 1327 Chapel Street from 9-11, to learn more about your interests in the community and to answer any questions you have about relocation. If you have any comments or concerns, feel free to let me know then.
I am excited to work with all of you during this process. Feel free to contact me at (203) 441-7906. I am at 1327 Chapel Street New Haven, CT. Below are the links to our Facebook, Instagram, and the Kensington Square Redevelopment where you can learn more about the project.
Last November, the Friends of Kensington Playground filed a lawsuit against the City of New Haven to stop the sale and development of Kensington Playground into affordable and deeply affordable housing.
Because the new construction at Kensington Playground is a key component of the larger Kensington Square Revitalization Project this lawsuit has caused a delay for the entirety of the project, which includes the renovations of existing units, in addition to the new construction and green space improvements.
On Wednesday, state Superior Court Judge Robert Young granted a motion to dismiss one of the claims in the lawsuit over the sale of Kensington Playground. You can view the full decision here.
Kristin Anderson, lead development project manager for Kensington Square has shared the following thoughts:
“We applaud the court’s decision in this case to dismiss the claims and are hopeful that this lawsuit will be resolved soon so that we’ll be able to get on with this project that so many people have been waiting on.
The root of the issue is, this location was chosen through a community process and was selected because members of this neighborhood believed this space would better serve the community as affordable housing.
Fortunately, the project as it’s proposed means the neighborhood does not need to choose housing over parks. This project will create affordable housing opportunities, make improvements to greenspaces that are actually utilized by the community and create additional greenspaces. We are eager to move forward with this vital and necessary project and are hopeful that the larger lawsuit will be resolved soon.”
“My neighborhood has come a long way in the past two decades. I want to see it go further. If there’s going to be more developments and more housing — and there will be — I want it to be for me and my neighbors. I want it to reflect our hopes for the community.” – Cesar Lacen, Kensington Square Resident
Check out this op-ed in the CT Mirror from resident and Dwight community member Cesar Lacen on the Kensington Square Revitalization Project!
Welcome to Kensington Engage! A central hub for information and resources on the Kensington Square Redevelopment project.
As one of New Haven’s only non-profit housing developers, TCB is invested in the creation and revitalization of affordable and deeply affordable housing, because communities do best when people have access to safe, stable, and high-quality housing.
Check back here often for community and resident updates and details on phase two of the Kensington Square Redevelopment. For an overview of this project click here to download the Kensington Square fact sheet, also available in Spanish.
For additional updates on this project and to learn more about TCB communities across the state, follow TCB Connecticut on our just launched social channels.