Meeting Agenda May 9, 2016


DATE:                May 9, 2016

TIME:                 4 PM

LOCATION:      Stern Village (Community Room), 200 Hedgehog Circle, Trumbull, CT 06611

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Resident Comments

Stern Village Residents (only) may speak for a maximum of 3 minutes. Stern Village Residents (only) must sign-up to speak prior to the start of the meeting.

  1. New Business

Discussion/Possible Action regarding the SVTA

  1. Adjournment



Addendum to Special Meeting – New Business SVTA

-The State and Federal Laws Governing Tenant Organizations. -Determining Compliance with State and Federal Law. -Analysis of the SVTA’s Compliance with State and Federal Law.

Meeting Agenda May 9, 2017

Meeting Agenda April 25, 2016


DATE:                April 25, 2016

TIME:                 4 PM

LOCATION:      Stern Village (Community Room), 200 Hedgehog Circle, Trumbull, CT 06611

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Reading and Approval of Minutes for April 4, 2016
  4. Resident Comments

Stern Village Residents (only) may speak for a maximum of 3 minutes. Stern Village Residents (only) must sign-up to speak prior to the start of the meeting.

  1. Treasurer’s Report
  2. Executive Director’s Report
  3. Unfinished Business
  4. New Business
  5. Adjournment

Meeting Agenda April 25, 2016

Meeting Agenda April 4, 2016


DATE:  April 4, 2016


LOCATION:  Stern Village (Community Room), 200 Hedgehog Circle, Trumbull, CT 06611

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Reading and Approval of Minutes for February 22, 2016
  4. Resident Comments

Stern Village Residents (only) may speak for a maximum of 3 minutes. Stern Village Residents (only) must sign-up to speak prior to the start of the meeting.

  1. Treasurer’s Report
  2. Executive Director’s Report
  3. Unfinished Business
  4. New Business

-Discussion and Motion for Tenant Selection Plan

  1. Adjournment



Tenant Selection Plan

The objective of this Resident Selection Plan is to consolidate relevant policies and procedures affecting Resident selection pursuant to applicable CHFA/DOH regulations and federal, state, and local laws. The Plan sets out a procedure for processing and selecting applicants, including the establishment of preferences and priorities, occupancy standards, rejection standards, reviews and appeals of rejection decisions, and notice requirements.

The Plan is designed to promote fairness and uniformity in Resident selection. It is also designed to detail the application and selection process for those who may have questions or wish information on the process. The THA will not permit these policies to be subverted to do personal or political favors.

The mission of the Trumbull Housing Authority, commonly known as the “THA” is to develop and manage safe, high-quality, affordable housing for low-income seniors and for non-elderly persons with disabilities, in a manner in which promotes citizenship, community, and self-reliance.

Meeting Agenda April 4, 2016

THA Recap: January 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017

Heat Pumps – The process to select a contractor for the Heat Pumps was extremely time consuming. We worked with the Town of Trumbull to select the lowest and most responsible bidder. Barry Associates was selected and thoroughly vetted. The installations went very smoothly and each unit has a heat pump.

New Lease for Stern Village and for The Congregate – I spent months on crafting a new lease with our THA Legal Counsel. The new lease includes several CT Statutes which protect the THA and our residents from improper activities.

Resident Volunteer Breakfast – This was my fourth consecutive year of having our volunteer breakfast to thank our residents for all they do. The food was provided by Creative Culinary.

New Roof for Stern Village Building–We replaced the roof over apartments 13 – 16. If we get the SSHP funding, we plan on replacing all the roofs for Stern Village.

Non-Profit – We fulfilled the documents to become a non-profit entity, called Trumbull Housing Corporation a 501(c) 3. We are waiting approval from the IRS.

2017 Small Cities Grant – The Town of Trumbull applied for another Small Cities Grant for new, energy efficient double pane windows for Stern Village. I worked closely with Larry Wagner, Consultant (selected by the Town of Trumbull), to fulfill all the required documentation. This included going in front of the Town Council to explain why we need the windows.

Applications for Stern Village – We received applications for Stern Village from April 1 – April 30. These are for non-smoking units only. We had approximately eighty applicants and approximately forty seven applicants passed the initial national credit screening and criminal background checks. We currently rented six units starting July 1 and we are interviewing applicants for the remaining vacancies.

 2017 SSHP Application – After several meetings and conference calls with CHFA and DOH, we applied for approximately $4 million from the State to allow us to:

-Repave roads and parking lots

-Repave walkways

-Repair sanitary system

-Repair storm sewers

-Make the community room ADA accessible

-Install new domestic hot water tanks

-Put new roofs, fascia, gable siding, and gutters on all units

-Increase attic insulation

-Get new exterior doors and master locksets

-Convert 19 units into ADA apartments

New Maintenance Person – We hired John Fox to join our maintenance team. He is part-time only.

Recertification and New Lease – Most of our residents have satisfied their recertification requirements and signed the new lease.

Healing and Community Garden – Thanks to Home Depot in Trumbull, we have raised gardens filled with flowers, vegetables, and herbs for the congregants. Our Garden Committee will tend to the garden and the herbs will also be used by our Chef in meal preparation.



Besides our regular activities including but not limited to:

Bingo, Pokeno, Pinochle, Adult Coloring with Gus, Nostalgia with Nick, Yarn Arts and Chair Exercises with Romy, Arts and Crafts with Allison, Game Night, and Movie Night, we also had:

The Monthly Garden Therapy Club, thanks to the members of the Long Hill Garden Club.

Super Bowl Brunch courtesy of Crossroads Community Church, Trumbull.

Charul and Alok Bhatt and Kaiser of Trumbull Pharmacy discussed medications and provided a healthy lunch.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Stern Village with Tom Megna from Goodwill who discussed Chinese cultures and the THA provided lunch.

Kathleen Godwin of Blue Cross & Blue Shield provided information on Medicare and Medicaid.

Shannon Shlash from the Witness Project discussed mammograms and cancer prevention.

THA Mother’s Day Breakfast sponsored by Creative Culinary.

THA Father’s Day Luncheon sponsored by Ed Henrich of United Healthcare.

Download: THA Recap January 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017

Community Support is Key – Thank You Cooperative Education Services

Every day the THA benefits from the help and support provided to us by members of the community and various organizations.  I would like to thank Cooperative Educational Services (CES) located in Trumbull, CT for their on-going assistance. Their “DSL” students are truly remarkable, thoughtful and friendly. On Fridays, they deliver Bruegger’s Bagels to the community room, along with their job coaches. Every month, students staple our monthly Stern Village Voice Newsletter and another group of students delivers them door-to-door to our 186 residents, along with their job coaches. Holiday time, they helped our residents decorate our Stern Village tree. These talented students even provided personalized gift wrapped, hand-made ornaments for our residents! If you or your organization is interested in helping the THA, please email  #CES #Coorperative Education Services

Heat Pumps for Comfort

A heartfelt thank you to the Town of Trumbull for applying for the Small Cities Grant in 2016 in order to get heat pumps for 186 units in Stern Village and for the State of Connecticut for approving it!

Over the course of several months, I conducted resident meetings to discuss the benefits of the ductless heat pumps to improve residents’ quality of life and savings on electric bills.  I have answered many questions. Experts have attended Board Meetings to discuss how efficient the heat pumps are.

The Facts

-We are not taking out the old electric baseboard heat.

-If residents do not want to use the Heat Pumps to reduce their heating bills we can turn it off and they will remain on the old electric baseboard heat.

-If residents do not want air-conditioning at a minimal cost we will not turn on the Heat Pump system.

Residents have the freedom to choose.

Installation of Heat Pumps Has Begun – Residents are Raving about their Heat Pumps!

-Ductless heat pumps are small and mounted high above your living space delivering even heating and cooling throughout.

-Heat pumps use a small, exterior condenser to transfer heat from the outside air directly to the inside unit, offering a number of tangible benefits

Money savings ­– High on the list of benefits is the money residents will save.  Residents will see significant savings on their UI bills.

Live in Comfort- Ductless heat pumps provide heating and air conditioning to your space giving you comfort all year round with one unit. No need for window air conditioners.

Better air quality – Ductless heat pumps have multiple filters and deliver air directly from the outdoors to your room, avoiding allergens. Those with allergies and breathing issues will also enjoy this benefit

Lowers the carbon footprint – A ductless heat pump reduces your carbon footprint through the significant reduction in energy usage. Each system meets UI guidelines and reduces energy usage by 60% over traditional electric options.

The heat pump control is easy to use. Set it and Forget it! If residents need to increase or lower the temperature, point it and use the arrows.

Energy efficiency, cost savings, and positive environmental impact are all benefits of ductless heat pumps. 


Stern Village Resident Association

The residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority now have resident representation, thanks to the duly elected Stern Village Resident Association. The Resident Association acts as a voice for Stern Village and works closely with the THA Board of Commissioners and Harriet Polansky, Executive Director. This new association has monthly meetings in the Community Room and welcomes all residents to attend. They are currently planning activities for residents to get acquainted.




Stern Village Resident Association Members:


Deborah Dowd – (203) 258-1909

 Members-At- Large

Maureen Bova – (203) 880-9666

Roberto Cortes – (203) 450-2507

Sandra Fisher – (203) 880-9174

Gloria Lanham – (203) 880-9641

Nicholas Vertucci – (203) 261-2164

John Vogele – (203) 880-9589

Welcome to the Director’s Corner – It Takes a Village

Hi, I’m Harriet Polansky, Executive Director of the Trumbull Housing Authority and I am using this blog to provide additional information about the Trumbull Housing Authority (THA) – Stern Village.  I am passionate about Stern Village and committed to improving the health, safety and well-being of our residents. Our Board of Commissioners work tirelessly on residents’ behalf. Our five commissioners are volunteers, appointed by the First Selectman of Trumbull. The Trumbull Housing Authority is under the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s Housing Portfolio, a quasi-public agency. We are not Federally Funded or part of HUD. We are the Public Housing Authority for the Town of Trumbull, providing affordable housing to low income adults. For the Village, one must be at least 62 year old (Elderly) and/or 18-62 years old (Young Disabled). Stern Village is truly the “jewel of Trumbull” acting as a community within a community.  For Stern Center-Congregate, one must be at least 62 years old and have one or more difficulties with daily living. The Congregate is not a nursing home or assisted living. It is an independent living facility with supportive services. We have 186 residents in the Village and 36 residents in the Congregate. We offer numerous activities, presentations and events for our residents. We even have a small food pantry located in the Community Room.  Our residents are kind and caring individuals. They come from different regions and walks of life. They all have great stories and can entertain you for hours! Stop by and get acquainted.


Minutes THA January 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority

January 23, 2017

4:00 pm

Community Room of Stern Village


Commissioners Present: Commissioners Suzanne Donofrio, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik


Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky


Commissioners Absent: Deborah Dowd and Paul Niebuhr


The meeting was called to order at 4:06 pm by Mrs. Kopchik.   Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.


Past Minutes

Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of December 28, 2016. Ms. Polansky noted two changes to the Commissioners’ names – Susan Fatse and Suzanne Donofrio.  Page 1 under Unfinished Business, second to last sentence should read – “voting to elect a Tenant Commission”.  All references to the State in New Business #2 should be capitalized. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio to approve as amended.  Approved unanimously.


Treasurer’s Report

Ms. Polansky reported in the absence of Mrs. Dowd for the six months ending December 31, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $11,840. This is attributable to the numerous vacancies in the Village and Center, reducing the rental income, as well as additional legal expenses, costs of advertising for the wait list openings and necessary credit checks.  Currently the reserve balance is $1,519,219, which is approximately $6,843 for each unit in the entire complex.


Executive Director’s Report

Ms. Polansky noted the overall cash position as of December 31, 2016 showed a balance of $1,008,455, including the investment account. As of December 31, 2016, Accounts Payable was approximately $72,976, including the PILOT accrual for the current year.


The loss has decreased from last month. The biggest issue is the loss of rental income which will be made up.   Water usage has increased as well as the fee, maintenance costs have increased due to overtime with snow, plumbing issues and rehabbing units and some additional legal fees.


Ms. Polansky noted they are off to a great start this year. Vacancies have been filled and new residents have joined the Stern Village family.  Many have already moved in and have participated in activities.  There are two vacancies in the Congregate.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.


Several issues have been tackled and she is doing her best to prevent additional problems before they arise. Since December they have:

  1. Replaced a roof on one of the buildings in the village
  2. Started to replace the subfloors as deemed unsafe
  3. Looked at several potential contractors for the heat pumps at Stern Village, looking at the electric panels and units. Jeff Holt (Manager) has answered several questions. The information for bidding on the heat pumps is on the Town’s website.
  4. Started to compile the necessary documents and associated costs to apply for SSHP 2017 for the Congregate and 2017 Small Cities Application.
  5. Worked on implementing a new lease for the Village and Congregate when tenant recertifications are conducted in March. A draft lease has been reviewed with approximately 50 residents at 2 separate meetings and they had positive feedback.


Unfinished Business

No unfinished business.


New Business

  1. Ms. Polansky noted the Town is applying for the 2017 Small Cities Grant for Stern Village. They are looking at $800,000 to be used to replace the windows. Ms. Polansky is working with UI to offset some of the cost through incentives. George Wiles, from Wiles Architects, is working on this initiative as he has been involved with the project from the beginning. Mr. Wiles spoke on improving the building envelope to include changes in the energy codes implemented in October 2016 noting that any window over 5-7 years in age is not up-to-date according to code. The windows in the complex are much older and they will be replaced with high efficiency windows which will improve thermal performance. He reviewed the replacement procedure and the scope of his firm with regard to the installation. 905 windows are planned to be replaced. Mr. Wiles will provide information to UI as the scope of work needs to be described in the RFP. Ms. Polansky noted the DOH requires different on-site visits which makes the architectural firm a part of the project.


After discussion, Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve Wiles & Architects to provide constructions, bid documents and construction administration services for the replacement of all exterior windows in 186 units of Stern Village. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved.


Stern Village Resident Association Update

Mrs. Fisher noted there will be an election to fill a vacant position on the Association Board. This will be in held in February and supervised by Kim.  Nominees will not be held to the prior list but will include any resident who wishes to submit their names.


The Board will need to devise a plan for others to report to the THA Commission in the absence of the elected official. It was suggested by Mrs. Donofrio that the Association plan on making a report at all Commission meetings whether by the elected official or a stand-in.


Resident Comments

Paul Littlefield read the following statement:  “With all due respect, let it be spread on the minutes of this meeting that the Stern Village Tenants’ Association, Inc. strongly urges this Board stop the installation of mini split heat pumps in the apartments of Stern Village to replace the efficient electric-resistance baseboard heating and window AC units, out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of elderly leaseholders.


Consider that the large body of objectively based studies, including the Eversource electric company, conclusively demonstrates that heat pumps are not a safe alternative for use in elderly housing as they fail to adequately heat the apartments. They create drafts and they are not dependable.


Heat pumps are notorious for their inadequate production of heating and cooling, when heating and cooling are needed the most. The literature states that when the outside temperature drops below 25 degrees F, the heat pumps fail to maintain adequate heat for elderly tenants.  Heat pumps fail to adequately distribute sufficient heating to the bathrooms.


An architect and an engineer were hired but you failed to get a consultant in gerontology, one who specializes in the knowledge of the elderly. Installing heat pumps will but the elderly tenants at risk.


Heat pumps are high tech and high maintenance. They need to be cleared of ice and snow to function.  Can you see an elderly heart patient going out in a snow storm to clear off the snow and ice?  The costs to maintain and service heat pumps will not be cheap and will add to the pressures for rent increases.


This Board and the First Selectman have a duty to do due diligence. You need to do your homework and, if you do, you will find out that the installation of heat pumps will not accomplish what you intend and that they will have the unintended consequences of putting the elderly leaseholders at risk.  It is your obligation and responsibility to provide decent, safe and sanitary facilities.  Considerable time has been put into research and we leave with you a token of such research from Eversource and the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.  Respectfully,   Paul Littlefield”.  Mr. Littlefield provided additional information to the Commissioners to review.


Sandra Fisher – stated she understands the current heating system will remain in the event of a failure of the heat pumps.  She believes that anything the Board would approve would not be detrimental to the residents.  She also noted that the Maintenance staff is great and would like a letter to be written to acknowledge what they do.


Kim has helped with the meetings of the new Tenant Association and has guided them as a new Board. She will be with them for the next six months and will be able to help them know what to do in the future.


Joan – Agreed about the windows.  Her concern is air conditioning in the summer with respiratory problems.  She requested that the next issue to be addressed be the walkways because people are falling.



There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:41 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse.  Approved unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,




Barbara Crandall





Meeting Agenda February 22, 2016


DATE: February 22, 2016



  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Reading and Approval of Minutes for January 25, 2016
  4. Resident Comments
    1. Stern Village Residents (only) may speak for a maximum of 3 minutes. Stern Village Residents (only) must sign-up to speak prior to the start of the meeting.
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Executive Director’s Report
  7. Unfinished Business
  8. New Business
  9. Adjournment