$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-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.