Community Group Transforms Abandoned Homes - NBC Connecticut

Community Group Transforms Abandoned Homes

NINA continues to renovate abandoned historic homes in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford.



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    Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance is revitalizing homes in Hartford neighborhoods.

    Construction crews are now hard at work renovating an abandoned home on Sargeant Street in Hartford that's sat vacant for more than ten years.

    The former eyesore at 156-158 Sargeant Street is the latest project taken on by the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA) in its ongoing effort to revitalize historic homes and increase home ownership in Hartford's Asylum Hill neighborhood.

    "It's going to be fantastic, about two-thousand square feet per side," said Ken Johnson, the executive director of NINA.

    The home is being restored to a two-family owner-occupied home and construction should wrap up within a couple of months, said Johnson.

    In all, NINA has renovated 13 historic homes in the Asylum Hill neighborhood since 2006.  The group has spent upwards of $5 million in public and private funds for the projects, according to Johnson.

    "We saw a real opportunity. Many of these are Civil War era kind of homes with wonderful architectural features. They just needed to be lovingly restored," said Johnson.

    NINA's renovations include several homes on Ashley Street.

    A house at 8 Ashley Street was built in 1873. It was later converted into four apartments and then abandoned. NINA restored it back to a single family owner-occupied home.

    "We hear from the neighbors that they like to see the investment come into the neighborhood. We hear from the police that it's helping to raise the quality of life," said David Corrigan, the program manager for NINA.

    Besides renovating homes, NINA recently worked with homeowners to have professional landscapers spruce up their gardens.

    The organization also helps people paint their homes, including Larry Faust who lives on Garden Street.

    "It's wonderful because the neighborhood is changing and with this organization, what he's doing, it's making it a whole lot better around here and I really appreciate it," said Faust.

    NINA and Leadership Greater Hartford will be showing off the homes in a tour on Tuesday, May 22. It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information on how to register for the event click here.