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Foote Commons is expected have new residents by the end of next month. | (Submitted)

Cheshire’s Foote Commons waiting list reopens due to discrepancy

CHESHIRE — The Foote Commons project on West Main Street is ready for its newest tenants.

However, there’s still some debate between the Cheshire Housing Authority and the state housing authority about which applicants are qualified to live in the 20-unit development, according to Bruce Klein, Cheshire Housing Authority board president.

According to Klein, the Cheshire agency wants to accept tenants who make up to 80 percent of the median household income, while the state wants more tenants who make 60 percent of the median income. The median income for the area is around $80,0000.

“So, we’re going to re-open the waiting list for Foote Commons and Beachport,” he said. The 48-unit Beachport project is a Section 8 housing development for seniors and disabled people. It is directly behind Foote Commons.

“We’re in the middle of this right now,” he said.

Foote Commons already has four occupied units, people who were moved out when the renovations to the main building and construction of the adjacent buildings were going on, said Ann Belcher, property manager.

Barring state issues, the rest of the residents should be in by the end of next month or early April at the latest, she added.

“It’s a nice, quiet, quaint little village, with great access to buses and an easy walk into town,” Belcher said.

The affordable housing units were completed in late November, but the process of finding the right tenants takes time, Belcher said.

“By the time you go through the applications and get proof of what people put down, well, it takes quite a bit of time,” she said.

Applicants had to get their forms into the office by the end of November.

As of now, to qualify, applicants for a one-bedroom unit must make roughly between $28,950 and $37,200 gross income. For a two-bedroom unit, the income must be between roughly $33,050 and $44,640 and for the three-bedroom units it must be between $37,200 and $51,570.

The most expensive 3-bedroom unit rents for less than $1,000 a month, Klein said.

Tenants must not have a felony record and misdemeanors will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, Belcher said. In addition, they can’t have evictions on their record or poor references from former landlords.

Qualified applicants were put into a computerized lottery. Then the deep background checks and interviews got underway.

“Then they have to give their landlords 30- or 60-day notice before they can leave,” she said.

Foote Commons cost $750,000 for the house, garage and two acres of land. It was purchased by the Cheshire Housing Authority with a combination of loans and grants.

ebritton@record-journal.com (203) 317-2208 Twitter: @EveBritton



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