Naugatuck Valley Project

 

Accomplishments

Environment/Redevelopment

  • Securing national “pilot” status for the Valley and more than $800,000 in federal and state money to start the systematic assessment, clean-up and economic redevelopment of several so-called "brownfield" sites--abandoned or underutilized industrial or commercial properties where environmental contamination and troubling liability issues threaten public health, blight neighborhoods, erode community spirit, and undermine the tax base.
  • Redevelopment of a brass factory in Thomaston, bringing brass production and jobs back to the community in 2000.

Public services

  • Winning $2.4 million in tax relief for low-income homeowners in Waterbury through an expanded “circuit breaker” program.
  • Organizing the Valley’s first Latino/Hispanic Resource Center to provide translation services and referrals for new immigrants.

Jobs

  • Winning a model job training partnership with the locally significant screw machine, eyelet, and cold header sectors that to date has trained and placed over 500 unemployed or underemployed persons in good-paying manufacturing jobs with a future.
  • Creating Valley Care Cooperative (VCC), an employee-owned home care company which provided high quality, low cost health care to Medicare/Medicaid patients and employed over 80 people (many of whom had recently been on welfare, unemployed or underemployed) in good, family-supporting jobs with benefits.
  • Organizing white and blue collar employees and their communities in three successful employee buy-outs of factories threatened with closing, including the Seymour Specialty Wire Company, the largest democratically owned industrial firm in the nation from 1984-1991.

Housing

  • Forming strong tenant organizations which led to the transformation of deteriorating public and privately-owned rental housing complexes in Waterbury, Naugatuck and Ansonia.
  • Establishing the Naugatuck Valley Housing Development Corporation (NVHDC), a community land trust.  (see updated story)
  • Organizing to win the development of Brookside, a development of 102 units of permanently affordable, cooperatively-owned housing in the Valley's difficult housing market.
  • Organizing to win an investigation by the State Attorney General into predatory lending practices and consumer fraud, resulting in the prosecution of several corrupt real estate brokers and lenders and providing support and beginning the process of possible compensation to victims.

Leadership Development

  • Developing the leadership skills of hundreds of adult and youth leaders through formal and informal leadership training by sending them to IVP trainings twice a year.
  • Offering 16-week congregational leadership development training.
  • Bringing in new member groups to add to our power base; this year we added 4 new groups.