CNI News - Press Coverage

This page chronicles the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and Washington Village in the news.

The HourStudents from Norwalk Housing Authority receive scholarships to pursue passions
By R.A. Schuetz - Thursday, June 21, 2018

NORWALK - Jessica Davis has known she wanted to work in criminal justice ever since she was a kid growing up in Washington Village. In fact, she traces the roots of her passion to her experiences there, as she witnessed friends getting in trouble with the law.

"I wanted to be the person to help because, personally, I know they're not bad people," Davis said.

Now, she's proud to say she is entering the last semester of her master's degree in criminal justice at Sacred Heart University with a 4.0 GPA. Long-term, she hopes to work in the fields of probation and parole, but as she works on her graduate degree, she's already helping people by teaching parenting classes at St. Joseph Parenting Center in Stamford.

PDF Read more: NHA Student Schloarships
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The HourNorwalk police roll out electric mountain bikes
By Leslie Lake - Saturday, May 26, 2018

NORWALK - In a collaboration between city agencies, a donation of the funds to purchase two electric mountain bikes for the Norwalk Police Department was seen by stakeholders as a way to enhance safety and the level of community engagement between police and South Norwalk residents.

The bikes, Pedego Ridge Rider electric models, will be used primarily by Community Policing officers. There are currently 30 Norwalk police officers who are bike-certified.

"These bikes will allow officers to get to emergencies faster and to expand areas of patrol," said Norwalk police Lt. Terry Blake. "The level of community engagement is invaluable."

PDF Read more: Norwalk police roll out electric mountain bikes
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The HourCommitment to social justice leads Bovilsky to Norwalk Housing Authority
By Robert Koch - Thursday, May 24, 2018

NORWALK — Adam Bovilsky traces his road to the Norwalk Housing Authority to his childhood.

Adam Bovilsky smiling"I got into this work from my background growing up in a liberal Jewish family where social justice was something that was hammered into us," Bovilsky said. "I worked first at a college for nonprofits, including the Jewish Community Relations Council up in Boston that focused on social justice and working to end the cycle of poverty."

On June 19, Bovilsky will start his new job as executive director of the Norwalk Housing Authority after having served 11 years as Norwalk's director of human relations and fair rent.

PDF Read more: Commitment to social justice leads Bovilsky to Norwalk Housing Authority
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Equal Housing Opportunity logoNow Accepting Applications
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Affordable Rental Opportunity
Spring 2018 - 13-20 Day Street,
Norwalk, Connecticut

Washington Village Phase I is a new construction, 80-unit affordable housing community built with New England charm and contemporary conveniences. Featuring a variety of one and two-bedroom floor plans, Washington Village Phase I offers the perfect home for a variety of life-styles.

# of Units Type Rent
5 1-bedroom $1,471
13 2-bedroom $1,632 - $1,761

Income restrictions do apply for these affordable rentals

HH Size 60% AMI
1 $56,700
2 $64,800
3 $72,900
4 $80,940

Maximum income per Household size (HUD 2018 limits) subject to change

To request an application be sent by mail or email,
call 203-714-8060 or TDD# 1+800-545-1833 ext. 945 or
email at

Please return completed applications to:
P.O. BOX 180

Availability on first-come, first-serve basis
Voucher holders welcome

Washington Village Phase I will be a non-smoking building and is pet friendly

For more information or reasonable accommodation for person with disabilities,
call Trinity Management at 203-714-8060 or TDD# 1-800-545-1833 ext. 945

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Nancy on NorwalkSoNo library highlights Washington Village artist
By Sherelle Harris - May 4, 2018

Conan Robinson, a Washington Village Artist Featured at SoNo Library.

The artwork of Conan Robinson has graced the walls of the Norwalk Public Library's SoNo Branch for the past month. On Tuesday, May 1, 2018 the Washington Village resident and lifelong Norwalker presented his first artist talk at the library.

Mr. Robinson spoke about his inspiration and artistic process, and how he creates art in multiple mediums such as acrylic, Prismacolor, and pen and ink. While Mr. Robinson's portraits and abstracts are influenced by elements in both the natural and urban worlds, he is most known for his modern interpretation of social events. The 1999 Brien McMahon graduate is the founder of 261 Productionz, through which, as a DJ, he plays to a diverse crowd which includes his church Miracle Temple located at 2 Trinity Place in South Norwalk.

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The HourOwning It: Elizabeth Torres has a passion for service
By Jordan Grice - April 29, 2018

Elizabeth Torres' passion for helping the lives of people in need started with her mother.

One of six children living in a two-bedroom apartment in New Haven, Torres, 7 at the time, would read classified ads in the paper looking for jobs and affordable housing opportunities for her mother.

"Part of the reason why I love my work so much and places like the East End (of Bridgeport) is because it reminds me so much of where I grew up, and the families that we serve mirror my own family when I was growing up," she said.

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The HourHealthy and local food: filling a tall order
By R.A. Schuetz - April 28, 2018

(Stepping Stones/Foodshed is a CNI Partner)

NORWALK - In the brightly colored Healthyville Cafe at Stepping Stones Museum, Director of Strategic Initiatives Bill Jeffries looked up at the museum's spring menu. Among the options were a turkey caprese salad and a green goddess salad with all natural grilled chicken, both advertised for $8.75.

"We've been wanting to redesign the cafe for a while into an immersive space, where you're actually learning about health and nutrition as you're eating inside of it," Jeffries said. "But in order to do that, we had to actually use locally sourced, healthy, organic food, and the more we got into it, we realized it's near impossible to do that affordably."

He said that many local farms are already at their limits. And finding locally sourced produce only becomes more difficult in the winter seasons, when nothing grows outdoors. The options the museum found for local, organic food were cost prohibitive.

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The HourHUD plan raises rents on poor in public housing
By Bill Cummings - April 27, 2018

A plan by the Trump administration to triple rents for the nation's poorest families is running into a wall of opposition from fair housing advocates and members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson last week proposed raising rents and adding work requirements for the millions of low income residents living at public housing authorities or receiving Section 8 rental vouchers.

The HUD proposal represents one of the most far reaching overhauls of federal public housing assistance in decades and will impact thousands for residents in large cities such as Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, as well as smaller communities such as Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury and Middletown.

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The HourBovilsky tapped to head Norwalk Housing Authority
By Robert Koch - April 25, 2018

NORWALK - Adam Bovilsky, the city's human relations director, is poised to take the helm of the Norwalk Housing Authority.

Bovilsky was one of about 10 candidates to apply for the position of housing authority executive director, according to Rahoul Dupervil, a member of the authority's board of commissioners.

"We went through the process of selecting and doing the interviews with all of them and then we had a second interview with four of them," said Dupervil, a longtime member of the Norwalk Human Relations Commission. "From the four that were left, we picked Adam, because he had most of the qualifications. He's been with Human Relations for 10 years. He has experience; he has a law degree, which most of them didn't have. We were looking for someone who can understand the law."

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Nancy on NorwalkBovilsky's NHA appointment
By Nancy Chapman - April 27 2018

NORWALK, Conn. – Here's a roundup of noteworthy Norwalk info:

  • Adam Bovilsky picked to lead NHA
  • NHA Board members
  • GGP's $3.5 million fee for SoNo
  • Eversource cutting trees

Bovilsky's 'exciting' appointment

Human Relations & Fair Rent Department Director Adam Bovilsky has been selected by the Norwalk Housing Authority to be NHA's new executive director, Brenda Penn-Williams said Tuesday.

Bovilsky appears set to replace Curtis Law, who announced his retirement last year but was paid to continue on through March 31, interim executive director Thomas Hickey said. Neither Penn-Williams nor Rahoul Dupervil, both NHA Commissioners, would say when Bovilsky will start. Bovilsky on Wednesday declined to comment.

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CHFA LogoCHFA Announces $8.08 Million To Support The Development of Affordable Housing In Four Connecticut Communities
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2018

Funds Support Development of Affordable Housing in East Haven, Hartford, Montville, Norwalk

HARTFORD, CT - The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) today announced the approval of $8.08 million in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The tax credits will generate $79.9 million in equity from private investors for six proposed affordable multifamily housing developments in four Connecticut communities.

The developments will create 377 rental units: 296 designated as affordable and 81 designated as market rate. The redevelopment of these properties is projected to generate 704 jobs in construction and related fields, $170.2 million in economic activity and $14.6 million in net state revenue.

"Increasing access to affordable housing for the people of Connecticut has been a priority for my administration since day one," Governor Malloy said. "By leveraging federal dollars and partnering with the private sector, we've been able to spur economic growth and development, while making Connecticut a more attractive place to live and work."

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Housing and Urban Development logoResilient Housing and Infrastructure in Norwalk, Connecticut
By HUD - Wednesday, October 2017

2017 Choice Neighborhoods SPOTLIGHT - Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused extensive damage to communities across Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. This damage highlights the importance of designing and building housing that is resilient to natural disasters. South Norwalk, a Choice Neighborhood, had its own experience with 2012's Superstorm Sandy, as well as persistent flooding. As a result, the Choice Neighborhoods Grantee and their partners are incorporating resiliency into their housing and neighborhood efforts.

In 2014, the Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency were awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the neighborhood of South Norwalk. Part of their Transformation Plan is focused on re-designing the Washington Village public housing development and the surrounding neighborhood with resiliency in mind. The eastern portion of the neighborhood is close to the harbor and lies in a 100-year flood plain. This community suffers from persistent, property-damaging flooding.

PDF Read more: Resilient Housing and Infrastructure in Norwalk, Connecticut
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The HourDupervil elected to Norwalk Housing Authority board
By Robert Koch - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Photo of Rahoul DupervilNORWALK - Rahoul Dupervil, a leader of the local Haitian-American community and longtime member of the city's Human Relations Commission, has been elected to serve as tenant commissioner on the Norwalk Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Balloting was held from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall and the South Norwalk Branch Library with assistance from the Norwalk League of Women Voters. Turnout was low among the roughly 4,000 public-housing authority tenants eligible to vote.

"I want this job because I'm the guy who's really passionate about tenant housing," Dupervil, a resident of the Housing Authority complex at 20 West Ave., said Wednesday. "If there's anything I can do to make the tenants more satisfied of the service that's provided to them, that's what I'm going to be there for."

PDF Read more: Dupervil elected to Norwalk Housing Authority board
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The HourCNI Office Flooded
By T. Ivers - Sunday, January 7, 2018

NORWALK — On Sunday morning, January 7th, the coldest day this winter, a pipe froze and burst on the unoccupied fourth floor at 149 Water Street, The NHA Choice Neighborhoods Initiative office. The pipe burst in the early morning hours and water cascaded throughout the building for hours. The Norwalk Fire Department was contacted by a neighbor who noticed water pouring out of the sides of the building. They were able to turn off the water but not before substantial damage was done.

The CNI team has been relocated temporarily to the Smilow Life Center at the corner of Chestnut Street and Merritt Place. Contact phone numbers remain the same for Case Management and NHA staff. It is estimated the repairs will take 2-3 months to complete.

Photo of January Flood Damage
Click on image for larger view

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The HourOpen Door Shelter opens new Smilow Life Center
By R.A. Schuetz - Sunday, November 5, 2017

NORWALK — People milled about before 55 Chestnut St. as the sunlight shining on the new building bounced back at them, bathing their smiles in a radiant glow. The marketing director of the Open Door Shelter, Erin McDonough, carried a ball of red ribbon, and Executive Director Jeannette Archer-Simons greeted board members and politicians.

Six months after construction began, the sparkling new Open Door Shelter facility was complete. Named the Smilow Life Center, the former glue-trap factory had been transformed into 14 apartments for homeless and working poor individuals, two medical respite units, a health center and space for a job training program. People will begin moving in this month.

PDF Read more: Open Door Shelter opens new Smilow Life Center
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