These Old Houses
3:29 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Trying to Tackle Blight in Hartford

Mayor Pedro Segarra stands with city staff in front of a recently revamped home.
Mayor Pedro Segarra stands with city staff in front of a recently revamped home.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

In old cities with old housing, blight is a constant concern. Now, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is boosting a program to give residents money to fix up their homes. 

It's a generous program. If you own and live in a property in Hartford, and that property has no more than three units, you may be eligible for as much as a $30,000, zero interest loan to repair the outside of your house. If you stay for five years, you don't pay anything back.

It's also a modest program. The city has set aside just $300,000 so far. A lot of that money comes from a program where the city charges property owners after doing things like boarding up their buildings for them. Segarra announced the program standing outside a city home that has newly revamped porches. He said all work in the program will be done by Hartford contractors.

"We're trying to be fair by having properties done in all different sectors of the city," he said. "We're trying to help especially the elderly and folks that are having some economic challenges. And we hope that we can continue to grow this program."

The blight fund is overseen by a department that was in the news over a year ago for financial missteps. The city said that department is now completely restructured.