THA Recap: December 30, 2019

  2019: A Banner Year for the Trumbull Housing Authority.

 This was quite a remarkable year for Stern Village.  Over the past year, Stern Village has gone through a $6.8 million transformation, which was badly needed and had not been done for approximately 46 years.  The goal was to rehabilitate, revitalize, and improve Stern Village, in order to provide safe and sanitary housing in addition to a better living experience for all our residents.

In 2013 we were deemed critical and at risk by the Connecticut Housing & Finance Authority (CHFA).  Now, thanks to my persistent lobbying on behalf of our residents, and the support of the THA Board of Commissioners, First Selectman of Trumbull, Vicki Tesoro and the Trumbull Delegation, we are now sustainable.

This was accomplished by navigating the complex world of state financing.  We obtained financing from a diverse group of agencies, including: $5.3 million funding from the State, $500,000 from 2018 State Housing Tax Contribution Program (HTCC), $800,000 from 2018 Small Cities Funding, and $200,000 from  CHFA Critical Needs Funding.  This does not include the 2019 Small Cities Funding or the 2019 HTCC Funding.

Our goals included:

  • repaving our sidewalks and roads so that they were safe and drivable;
  • significant improvements to property drainage and the sanitary system;
  • improving energy efficiency and comfort through a combination of insulation, new water heaters, new doors, new windows, and heat pumps;
  • structural changes to include several new porches, columns, gutters;
  • mounting new shutters and mailboxes;
  • installing radon mitigation systems throughout the Village;
  • landscaping and tree removal, to continue in 2020;
  • creating nineteen ADA units with large bathrooms, walk-in showers, ADA compliant cabinets, new lighting and new floors;
  • rehabbing twenty-four units with walk-in showers, new cabinets, new floors, new lighting;
  • constructing a new Community Room with an ADA compliant kitchen, ADA compliant bathroom, laundry room and more! (We hope to reopen the Community Room by the end of January 2020, beginning of February 2020);
  • new signage throughout Stern Village in 2020;
  • creating a rain garden by unit 51,
  • painting the apartments in the Village in 2020,
  • and more!


Henry Stern Center – Congregate

In addition to the much needed energy efficient upgrades made to the kitchen in the Congregate, a new generator and a new sprinkler system were installed. Power outage lights were placed in every congregants unit and additional outside lighting was installed to illuminate the path leading to the Congregate. New mailboxes have been ordered.

THA Congregate Kitchen received a score of 100% from the Trumbull Heath Department. We were the only eatery in Trumbull that received the highest score.

Additional upgrades will be made to the Congregate in 2020. These upgrades will include new energy efficient boilers, new heating/air conditioning systems, walk-in showers, higher toilets and more, to increase the safety and comfort of our frail and elderly residents. The sidewalk in front of the Congregate will be addressed in the spring of 2020.

However, we are not done. We need to extend the rehabilitation to all units and continue to make significant improvements to ensure the health and safety of our residents.

In 2018, we obtained a grant from TD Bank to be used for security cameras. We now have cameras focused on the 2nd circle and in front of the Congregate.  Our goal is to have security cameras throughout our 16.19 acre parcel.

Every year we work with the Eagle Scouts on projects to benefit our residents.  This year, Ben Cousins constructed a bus shelter by the Congregate. Our goal for next year is to ask the Eagle Scouts to build picnic tables.

We received a $1,000 donation in memory of a Stern Village resident. This will be used to create a gathering space/park by the Community Room.

Friends of the THA

We work closely with businesses who have donated their services and products to help our residents:

-Home Depot created community gardens for our residents and provided discounts on holiday blow-ups and decorations;

-Jeff Shapiro, of Creative Culinary hosted our THA Picnic and First Annual Winter Wonderland Party;

-Stop & Shop provides us with a variety of breads and pastries every Wednesday, and donates cakes to us when needed and Bruegger’s Bagels gives us bags of assorted bagels every Friday;

-Our goal is to work with other businesses to help support our needs and to provide more programs and events to bring our residents together.

For 2020, with the help of our residents, THA staff and THA commissioners, we will continue to make a positive impact on the Trumbull Housing Authority and work closely with the residents to achieve positive outcomes.

We are truly the Jewel of Trumbull.

THA Recap: January 1, 2018 – June 30, 2018

June 22, 2018



PERIOD:  January 1, 2018 –June 30, 2018


Snow Removal – We had several students and adults from Trumbull to help residents remove snow this year when I posted our needs on social media.

Wait List – There were approximately 60 applicants for housing at Stern Village during our application period.  After our screening processes, 47 applicants were placed on the Wait List.

Resident Volunteer Breakfast – This was my fifth consecutive year for Harriet’s Volunteer Breakfast to thank THA residents for all they do. The food was provided by Creative Culinary.

Hand Dryers for Community Room & Congregate Restrooms  – These were installed in January as a “green initiative” and will save us money since we no longer need paper towels for these bathrooms.

Newtown Savings Bank – Newtown Savings Bank gave the THC $20,000 for the purchase of new, energy-efficient windows for the Congregate. I applied for this grant in the fall of 2017.

2018 Small Cities Grant – First Selectman Vicki Tesoro and the Town of Trumbull applied for another Small Cities Grant for new, energy efficient double pane windows for Stern Village.  I worked closely with Lisa Low, 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.

 Laundry Room – New, energy-efficient, front-loading washers and dryers were installed in all the laundry rooms. Laundry card systems were installed in the Community Room and Congregate Building.

Office Doors – Glass doors were installed in Paulette and Daisy’s offices in order for them to see out and residents to look in.

Student Interns at the Congregate –We’ve had some amazing student interns from Sacred Heart University work with our Congregants and help Daisy. This year Amber was our student intern and she is also working for us a few hours each week during the summer.

 1st Annual Valentine’s Day Party – This was a huge success. Residents wearing red were eligible for a drawing for various items that were donated. The Nichols Garden Club provided us with beautiful, floral arrangements for the 4th year. The Girl Scouts made cards for our residents and Ms. Molly’s Kindergarten Class provided goodie bags, decorations and hid kindness rocks around the Village.

Trumbull Helps – When kindness matters, we think of the wonderful volunteers from Trumbull Helps. Jeff Kunkel helped discard a large tree that fell down in front of the walkway to the Community Room. Jeff and other volunteers from this organization helped residents clear the snow from their vehicles and hosted wonderful dinners for our residents, and helped serve our residents.

Town of Trumbull at the State Capital – Harriet Polansky, Executive Director, represented Stern Village at Trumbull Day at the State Capital.

Senator Chris Murphy and First Selectman Vicki Tesoro – Senator Murphy visited Stern Village to inform our residents of several policies he created and initiatives he is spearheading. Senator Murphy and First Selectman Tesoro answered questions from our residents regarding issues that affect the elderly and young disabled.

Grief Counseling – Victor Olsen, Director of the Mary J. Sherlach Counseling Center ran grief counseling sessions for our residents.

New THA General Counsel ­­– The THA Board of Commissioners approved the hiring of Cody and Gonillo, LLP, to represent the THA in legal matters.

Critical Needs Application for the Congregate – We applied for approximately $200,000 to the Connecticut Housing & Finance Authority for a new generator, a new sprinkler system, kitchen ventilation and new boilers for the Congregate.

Donation from ServPro – We received a $300 gift card from ServPro that was used to purchase additional lawn furniture outside the Community Room.

Medicare Savings Program (MSP) – With the help of our THA residents, we were quite vocal about the Medicare Savings Program by making calls, writing letters and sending petitions to Trumbull Legislators. The program was reinstated.

Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast – 50 residents enjoyed a delicious breakfast hosted by Creative Culinary.

Annual Father’s Day Luncheon – 30 residents enjoyed a delicious lunch sponsored by Ed Henrich of United Healthcare.

Housing Tax Credit Contribution (HTCC) Funding – We were awarded $500,000 in HTCC Funds, which will go towards the Capital Improvement Project.

Harriet’s Monthly Tuesday Teas – Harriet Polansky’s monthly meeting with the residents is still going strong. Each month she discusses timely issues, concerns, and happenings at the THA. Residents bring up questions and help brainstorm on things that affect the residents.


Harriet’s Picnic with the Residents – Harriet Polansky has started having lunch with residents at our new picnic table twice a month.

Housing Authority Insurance (HAI) Group– Provided us with a large screen, Smart TV, Wii Game System, Games and a DVD player for the Congregate. They also created 6 raised community gardens filled with vegetable plants and herbs for Stern Village. They also provided us with 3 laptops for our residents.

Trumbull Integrity Award– Heather LeMoult was this year’s recipient for the Trumbull Integrity Award, started 3 years ago by Senator Marilyn Moore.

Additional Funding for the Congregate– We received additional funding from DOH for the Congregate. The amount is $7,251 which is put towards our operating expenses.

Stern Village Management Plans 2018-2019 – Our Annual Management Plans for Stern Village were approved by CHFA.

CHFA Technical Department – CHFA accepted our plans and specs for the Stern Village rehabilitation project.

 Bocce Ball Court–  JR Vano, Eagle Scout from Troop 65 – Long Hill United Methodist Church constructed our new Stern Village Bocce Ball Court, a wooden bench with a back, a personalized scoreboard, and they gave us a set of Bocce Balls and another set of horseshoes for our horseshoe pit. JR’s dad, Grandfather, and Stern Village Resident John Balawender also helped.

Ongoing Activities

-Bingo is played 3 times a week and held every 3rd Saturday in the Congregate.

-Adult Coloring with Gus is every Thursday.

-Men’s Club is every Tuesday morning.

-Art Therapy with Allison Spitzer-London is held bimonthly.

-Garden Art Therapy with Long Hill Garden Club is monthly, Fall – Spring.

-Musical entertainment is held in the Congregate twice a month.

-Pokeno is held every Thursday in the Community Room.

-Chair Exercises is held at the Congregate.

-Fun with Crafts

-Stern Village Knitting Club meets every Thursday in the Community Room.

-Movie Night is held bimonthly in the Community Room.

-Wii Game night is held every Thursday in the Community Room.



THA Recap: Accomplishments of Harriet Polansky 2013-2017

Highlights include but not limited to:

-Recreated over 100 files that were deleted from THA’s computer.
-Created a list of all residents to include all contact information. This list is updated monthly and distributed to the Trumbull Police, EMS and Jenn Gillis, Social Worker.
-Isolated several vacant apartments that residents were not living in, however, rent was paid on these apartments. The Trumbull Housing Authority must be a resident’s primary residence.
-Found uncashed checks amounting to over $3,300.
-Tenant files were missing important information and which had to be gathered.
-Utility Allowance of $70 or $75, provided by the THA based on residents’ rent, were not provided to certain residents.
-Sourced and procured a web-based, proprietary financial and management system (PHA-Web).
-Implemented counseling services for THA residents. Victor Olsen and Robin Bieber from The Mary J. Sherlach Counseling Center meets with several of our residents at the THA office or at the Counseling Center.
-Work closely with Stephanie Ramalhete, the new wellness Nurse; she sees our residents on a weekly basis.
-Changed or eliminated vendors, saving the THA thousands of dollars.
-Developed management plans, processes, and protocols for the Village and Congregate.
-Work closely with Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority and the Department of Housing.
-Implemented rent stratification programs for new residents.
-Installed new LED pole lights and additional lighting throughout THA property.
-Work closely with Trumbull Police Officer Harry on THA Security Assessments.
-Established the Stern Village Neighborhood Watch.
-Outsourced the food service and security for the Congregate, saving the THA thousands of dollars.
-Hired a new Congregate Manager.
-Created a work-order system to ensure residents’ maintenance needs are met.
-On-going remodeling of vacant apartments to include new, hardwood-like floors, new cabinets, new granite-look countertops, new ADA showers, for incoming Stern Village residents.
-Created new applications and established procedures for the creation of a waitlist and accepting applicants.
-Monthly meetings with the residents coined Harriet’s Tuesday Teas to provide updates, discuss issues and garner ideas.
-Created a website, Facebook page, Linked-In company page to provide easy access to information.
-Installed Wi-Fi in the Community Room and Congregate sitting area.
-Provide a monthly, informative newsletter called the Stern Village Voice.
-Installed heat pumps in 186 units, the Community Room, THA Offices and Congregate Dining Room.
-Water cooler was donated to the Community Room.
-Vending machine is located in the Community Room for residents.
-University of Bridgeport students created a new map and a corporate identity.
-Boy Scouts created a beautiful garden in front of the community room.
-Golf cart donated to get residents around Stern Village.
-Work closely with the Stern Village Tenant Association’s Board Members.
-Created the Trumbull Housing Corporation, a 501(C) 3.
-Installed a new roof on the Congregate Building.
-Installed Solar Panels on the Congregate Roof.
-Hired an additional maintenance person.
-Hired a sanitary company to blow out the sewer lines quarterly at $1,800.
-Installed new, energy efficient windows in the Congregate.
-Hired a new laundry service, starting in January 2018. All new, energy-efficient front loading washers and dryers and a Smart Card System.

Why Stern Village is The Jewel of Trumbull

-Residents know they are getting safe, sanitary and affordable housing and are part of a vibrant and active community. Residents stay for many years; they do not want to leave.
-People from Trumbull and surrounding areas want to live at Stern Village, as evident in our applications and daily calls.
-Bread day is every Wednesday, thanks to Stop & Shop of Trumbull.
-Offer several weekly and monthly activities and several special events that are well attended. Friendsgiving Celebration, Holiday Parties, Annual Picnic, Mother’s and Father’s Day Breakfasts, Veteran’s Day Luncheon, THA Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, and many more events.
-Computers donated by Cooperative Education Services and we have held computer classes.
-Hired a Resident Services Coordinator to help residents with many issues.
-Executive Director, Harriet Polansky has an open door policy and is available to every resident.
-Received a grant for outside furniture for Stern Village and the Congregate.
-Received a grant for a large, flat-screen TV for the Community Room. Friday night at the movies is held twice a month.
-Receive donations from companies to pay for our yearly THA picnic including food, entertainment, rental of chairs and tables, decorations.
-Receive donations of Christmas gifts for resident volunteers
-Received a Wii game system and games. Thursday night is game night in the Community Room.
-A regulation pool table and accessories were donated to the Community Room.
-Provide Art Therapy twice a month
-Well-ness coach provides chair-exercises, breathing techniques, yarn arts and other tranquil activities.
-Home Depot created a horse-shoe court and community garden.
-Partner with University of Bridgeport Social Services Department. Their students get credit for working with our residents.
-Partner with The Kennedy Center, provides weekly grocery shopping to our residents and volunteers clean THA offices and community room.
-Cooperative Education Services delivers bags of bagels every Friday.
-Work with various agencies to find employment for our residents.

Download: THA Recap Accomplishments of Harriet Polansky 2013-2017

THA Recap: July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

Remodeling Vacant Units for Incoming Residents

We completed the remodeling of four vacant units in order to increase the base rent for these particular units. The remodeling consists of upgrades to units and implementing ADA design factors:

-Replaced existing kitchen cabinets and knobs with new cabinets for easy access.

-Replaced the countertops with a “granite like”, easy to clean, Formica.

-Installed new, non-slip, easy to clean, vinyl wood flooring throughout.

-Installed an ADA shower.

New Stratified Base Rent for Incoming Residents to Stern Village

We increased the base rent to $500 and $550 for the newly remodeled units.

Floors for the Community Room

New, non-skid wood-like floors were installed in the Community Room.

New Windows in the Congregate

Windows were replaced in thirty-six apartments and in the congregate office. The new windows are double pane, energy efficient and easy to open.

Paulette Mack and Jenn Gillis Honored by Senator Moore

Paulette and Jenn were award recipients of the 2017 Trumbull Integrity Awards by Senator Moore for making a positive impact in the Trumbull community through their work and volunteer efforts. Both were nominated by Stern Village resident Patricia Carter.

Chairs for the Community Room and Congregate Dining Room

New, sturdy and comfortable chairs were purchased for the Community Room and Congregate Dining Room.

Annual Inspections

The annual inspections were more detailed this year, heat pumps, mold inspections and overabundance of items were checked. Those who did not pass any part of their inspection were provided with letters outlining the issues and remediation.

New Lights

We installed new, energy-saving, LED lights in the common areas of the congregate. The brighter lights have had a positive effect on the residents.

Laundry Service

We selected a new laundry service provider to install and maintain front-loading washers and dryers, as well as a smart card system. The installation and training to use the new cards will take place January 25 and 26.

Stern Village Food Pantry

We have a well-stocked food pantry with non-perishable food items, laundry detergent, and paper products.


The Stern Village Resident Association and THA Staff held a Friendsgiving, whereby residents received turkeys, hams, and assorted potatoes and vegetables, stuffing, gravy, corn and other items, to allow our residents to make Thanksgiving. These items were donated by several THA and Trumbull residents, Stop & Shop, Stew Leonard’s, and the International Food Bazarre.

 The Trumbull Housing Corporation

A 501(c) 3 was established for the Trumbull Housing Corporation, allowing us to accept donations and contributions for various initiatives at Stern Village. Harriet Polansky, Executive Director, has been applying for grants.

ConnNAHRO Convention

Harriet Polansky participated in the Annual ConnNAHRO Convention for Executive Directors of Connecticut Public Housing. The information received and connections made is invaluable to the THA.

The THA Annual Picnic

This year’s THA Annual Resident Picnic was a huge success. We had more residents attending and the THA received many donations that paid for all the costs involved.

Wellness Nurse

The Town of Trumbull has provided us with Nurse Stephanie, at no charge. Stephanie is on-site every Wednesday and can be found in the Community Room and in the Congregate.

Harriet’s Monthly Tuesday Tea

Every month, Harriet Polansky, Executive Director, meets with the residents to provide updates and discuss important issues. ServPro has attended some of the meetings to discuss mold prevention.  Jeff and Rene, THA Maintenance, have also discussed mold removal with the residents. We have conducted trainings sessions on how to set your heat pump and Jeff Barry from Barry Associates discussed using the heat pump remote control.

Pool Table

A new, regulation pool table, pool cues, chairs and accessories was donated to the Community Room for all residents to enjoy.

Personal Grocery Shoppers

Stern Village residents can now receive custom and personalized grocery shopping each week through the Kennedy Center. Residents can provide a grocery list, coupons and money to Paulette Mack, THA Resident Services Coordinator and The Kennedy Center will shop and deliver groceries and residents’ change.


  • Yarn Arts and Chair Exercise Classes are held weekly in the Congregate for all THA residents.
  • Art Therapy Crafts are taught by Allison Spitzer-London bi-weekly in the Congregate.
  • Lisa Allabal from SWCAA discussed Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Crossroads Community Church provided a luncheon with music for residents
  • Each month, members of the Long Hill Garden Club work with residents to create beautiful, floral arrangements and they discuss the plants and flowers being used.
  • Pot Luck Stern Village Resident Association Luncheon to Welcome New Residents.
  • Lena from Medical Arts Pharmacy discussed medication use and provided treats.
  • Romy Ganser, Wellness Coach, accompanied residents to dine at the Cracker Barrel. She also accompanied the residents to Silverman’s Farm for apple picking.
  • Nick Vertucci, Board Member for the Stern Village Resident Association, plays monthly movie trivia games with the residents.
  • The Tuesday Morning Men’s Coffee & Conversation Club is very active and gaining new members.
  • Leeann Patrick of Crossroads Church sang Christmas Carols with our residents.
  • Geri Westover, Senior Benefits Consultant, discussed cuts in the Medicare savings program.
  • Holiday Party for Villagers, sponsored by ServPro, was well-received.
  • Crossroads Church sang Christmas Carols and provided desserts to our resident.

Download: THA Recap July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

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

THA Recap: July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016

$800,000 Received Through Small Cities Grant
In July the Town of Trumbull received a Small Cities Grant from Governor Malloy to be used for heat pumps for the 186 units in Stern Village. The application process was long and arduous, involving several department heads from the Town of Trumbull and their consultant Larry Wagner of Wagner Associates. Since July, we have been finalizing the specs and working on the bid process. We had a pre-bid meeting on Wednesday, December 28 at Stern Village to review the bid documents with interested parties.

CHFA Asset Manager Visits the THA
Our Asset Manager visited us in July to review our protocols, methodology and requisite forms. We met all the criteria established by CHFA.

Harriet’s Monthly Resident Meetings
Harriet’s Tuesday Teas are still going strong. I continually update the residents on happenings and we discuss pertinent issues involving their well-being. Jeff Holt our Maintenance Manager has attended a couple of my meetings to discuss work orders, sewer issues, i.e., what to flush and what not to flush down the toilet, alternating sections for mowing and snow removal, and the like.

Security Guard Service
In July we outsourced ICS Security for the Congregate. We have and will continue to work very closely with the owners of ICS Security and their guards to update protocols and deal with potential security issues. Additional cameras were installed in the Congregate to enhance the safety of the residents.

We replaced fifteen windows in the Congregate with new, energy efficient ones.

Partnering with Goodwill Industries
Goodwill Industries provided the THA with part time assistants, at no charge, as part of their Employment Training program. We have had assistants for the Congregate and for our Maintenance Staff.

Wait List 2016
We opened the Wait List for the month of August. We received 82 applications and 49 out of 82 applicants made the Wait List. We had 12 vacancies (not including units 5, 6, 7 and 8), and filled 11 units. Units 5, 6, 7 and 8 have been set aside to evaluate the potential for a straight rehab with the Board’s approval.

We worked with GBT and Michelle Jakob, Director of the Senior Center to develop a bus transportation schedule to meet the needs of THA residents. We have a dedicated bus driver twice a week for 5-6 hours. For the coming year, we will be working with GBT on improving scheduling and transportation.

Key Fob for Congregate
We implemented a key-fob automatic door system for the Congregate. This has made a huge difference for the Congregants, alleviating the need to manually open the heavy door.

Solar Power
The installation of equipment for solar power was started in September. This was a long, arduous process. The THA will see a savings which will help the Congregate overall. This is a significant achievement for a CT Public Housing Authority to have solar and to implement a green initiative.

Kim Pietrorazio from TOVAH
Based on a grant from the state, Kim has been working very closely with the residents to form a duly elected Stern Village Resident Association for all the residents of the THA.

THA Annual Picnic
Our 2016 picnic was a success! The weather was perfect, the food was outstanding, our DJ Tony Castle got everyone up dancing and we received several donations from our vendors and suppliers to off-set the costs.

Fire Drill
Alex Rauso, Trumbull Deputy Fire Marshall, informed our Congregants about fire drill procedures. We are in the process of creating “What to Do in Case of a Fire” instructions and a “you go here map” for every Congregate. We are going to have several drills in 2017.

Grievance Policy
The THA now has a Grievance Policy based on State statutes. This new policy should help alleviate the need for attorney fees and make any eviction process smoother. Attorney Mike Jankovsky and I diligently worked on this policy for several weeks prior to THA Board approval. Each resident was also provided with a copy of the policy.

Tree Removal
Several dead trees were removed, roots pulled up, bushes pruned, and stumps removed. This should alleviate several problems we have had due to overgrowth and roots disturbing our sewer lines.

Sewer Issues
We continue to have sewer issues and we have hired a company to flush all the lines quarterly. However, it is up to the residents to make sure they are mindful of what goes in the toilet or down the drain.

Circuit Breakers
We updated several circuit breakers since many were obsolete and could cause the panels to burn out.

Funding for Redevelopment and Revitalization
The THA did not get the funding necessary to redevelop and revitalize Stern Village. Our application was flawless – it came down to the necessity for rental assistance. Funding for rental assistance is currently not available. This is not going to impede our constant fight for funding and we are looking at additional ways on how we can rehabilitate Stern Village and the Congregate.

On December 17th, Neil, Daisy and I had a conference call with CHFA and DOH to discuss some funding alternatives and we have provided information for CHFA and DOH to review.
The THA is committed to improve our infrastructure within the realm of affordability.

Annual Inspections
Our annual maintenance inspections started in October. Heather and I updated our inspection form to make it easy to use without losing thoroughness. Maintenance fixed any issues found during inspection and I met with residents who failed some of the categories.

Rent Stratification
We implemented rent stratification for incoming tenants in order to get additional money into the THA. Neil and I worked closely with CHFA on this and with Board approval the new rent is $400 for an efficiency and $450 for one-bedroom.

Volunteers from CES (Cooperative Educational Services)
We had student volunteers from CES to help collate, staple, fold and distribute our newsletter. These remarkable students also decorated our Christmas tree and made gifts for our residents. They will continue helping us in 2017.

Job Coaching Program from the State
The THA has partnered with the State to provide job coaching to select individuals that meet certain criteria. In January we will have a CNA at the Community Room and at the Congregate to take residents’ blood-pressure and discuss certain issues. All information is proprietary.

Small Cities Grant for 2017
We have started the ideation process for a small cities grant in 2017. We are contemplating new windows (and maybe doors) for every unit in Stern Village.

THA Elections
We had elections for our THA Resident Commissioner and for the Board of the Stern Village Resident Association. Both elections went smoothly thanks to Kim Pietrorazio, who oversaw the entire process. We also had Trumbull residents Lisa Labella and Jon Green help with the election, as well as an intern from the Trumbull Senior Center and Maureen Bova from the Stamford League of Woman Voters.

Wellness Coach
Romy Ganser is our Wellness Coach for the residents of the Congregate and Stern Village. Romy’s weekly chair exercises and special yoga classes have been well attended. Romy has worked with several residents on healthy eating, providing techniques for reducing stress and anxiety, and Romy has worked with our Chef to introduce quinoa and other healthy foods to the menu. Starting next Friday, Romy will be teaching knitting, crocheting and felting classes at 10:30 am in the Community Room

Arts and Crafts
Allison Spitzer London has worked with our residents to create beautiful and useful items during her creative expression classes. Our residents are working with a variety of mediums and love attending Allison’s classes.

Long Hill Garden Club
The members of the Long Hill Garden Club come to Stern Village on a monthly basis to work with our resident on creating magnificent floral arrangements, based on the season. The members donate their time and often bring homemade food and drinks made from fresh herbs.

Sacred Heart University
We have partnered with Sacred Heart University to provide an internship to one of their students majoring in Social Work. Megan will work with our residents beginning the middle of January. She will do some innovative programs with our residents and be available to discuss issues.

Special Activities
-Susan Pinto from Griswold Home Care Agency held a Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake Event for the residents.
-Michelle from the Scents-A-bility Project discussed the power of scents and residents made necklaces and were given a healing necklace.
-Unity Pharmacy provided a delicious lunch and discussed Medication Safety.
-Wheel of Fortune was presented by Home Instead Home Care.
-Kaitlin, an Intern from the Trumbull Senior Center, discussed the importance of the File of Life.
-The Residents’ Holiday Party was coordinated by residents June Leonard and friends.
-The Trumbull High School Choir sang for our residents.

Download: THA Recap July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016