The project to replace Old Town Hall Homes is expected to get $6 million in state funding at Wednesday’s meeting of the State Bond Commission, state Sen. Bob Duff said in a news release. Update: The money was approved.
Meanwhile, seniors living in the complex are preparing to move out as the project nears the stage where the buildings will be demolished and its replacement building constructed, said Ali Ramstek, town director of human services.
The new, 55-unit building will roughly double the number of homes in the current complex, and it will be handicapped-accessible, Duff said in his announcement. Duff is majority leader in the Democratic-controlled state Senate.
The project was one of four that are expected to get funding at the commission’s Wednesday meeting. The other three are in Norwalk.
“Ensuring that seniors are able to remain in our communities once they retire is important to their health and the health of our communities. The new Old Town Hall Houses will ensure that its residents will spend their golden years in quality modern housing,” Duff said.
Ramstek told town selectmen in her department’s latest quarterly memo on its activities:
“Now that the funding has been secured and the relocation process has begun, we have been inundated with calls from the residents at Old Town Hall Homes. They are all very anxious and concerned about the move.
“Ali attended the June 26, 2018 Housing Authority meeting at Old Town Hall Homes and briefly met with our clients. She reassured them that they are still considered Darien residents and will be eligible for our services, as well as the services of At Home in Darien.
“All residents will be relocated by the end of December 2018. Each resident is to schedule a meeting with Nichole Jefferson, executive director of Darien Housing Authority, to discuss their particular needs.”
The quarterly report was made public at the quarterly meeting of town department heads with the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday morning. At the meeting, Ramstek talked about the seniors getting ready to move out.
Her department has been “inundated” with calls from seniors moving out of about 22 homes in the complex, she said. The town Human Services Department is working with the Darien Senior Center and At Home in Darien to help the seniors move into new housing.
A lot of the residents don’t want to leave, Ramstek said. “It’s stressful for anybody” to move, but especially for those in their 80s and 90s, Ramstek said. About six residents are already moving out and should be living elsewhere by Aug. 1, she said.
“They’re going to have monthly gatherings at the Senior Center to keep them connected,” she said.
“Everyone wants to stay in Darien, but that’s not always an option,” Ramstek said. “They’re trying to get them as close as possible.”