Connecticut’s oldest public-housing project, Washington Village in Norwalk, has received tens of millions in taxpayer money recently, including $30 million in federal funding this week, while a top leader of the developer in charge of the $110 million project has been contributing regularly to the Connecticut Democratic Party.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy along with Rep. Jim Himes, who represents Norwalk, celebrated the grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday.
The funding is part of HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which hopes to convert affordable housing into mixed-income housing.
On Tuesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and state Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein announced $9.8 million in additional federal funding passed through Connecticut’s new Department of Housing. HUD awarded Connecticut a total of $31 million for disaster recovery from Superstorm Sandy.
Previously, Washington Village received a $1.89 million low-income housing tax credit.
Boston-based Trinity Financial will redevelop Washington Village with the Norwalk Housing Authority and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.
Patrick Lee, a co-founder and executive vice president of the company, donated $7,500 to the Connecticut Democratic Party in the past year.
In 2013, Lee donated $2,500 on July 18 and again on Aug. 1.
HUD announced the availability of Choice Neighborhoods funding on June 13, 2013, and the deadline for applications was Aug. 12.
Malloy first announced the $9.8 million in disaster funding on April 11.
Lee donated another $2,500 on April 23. He made all of his donations to the party’s federal account. As a top executive at a company that receives state assistance, Lee would be ineligible to give to the party’s state account.
In November 2013, the party received thousands in donations from others with affordable-housing business, also through its federal account.