To the Editor:

As reported in a recent article in the Milford Mirror, The Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership (MRHP), has begun renovations on 115 units of state and federal public housing at Catherine McKeen Village. This $1.2 million project is important and complex. Once completed residents of these nearly 50-year old units will have upgraded bathrooms and new flooring throughout. While the focus is on the renovated bathrooms, it is the flooring that is the cause of the complexity. MRHP has taken the extra, very important, step of making sure any asbestos that may be present under the floors will be removed from the entire unit, not just the bathrooms. This effort has added tremendous cost and considerable time to the project, but is vitally important to the long term safety and comfort of our residents. Once completed, it is hoped that all known environmental issues will be cleaned up, not just at the Village, but throughout the entire Milford Housing Authority. Sad as it may seem, few if any housing authorities in the nation can boast of this.

MRHP has worked hard to address the concerns of the residents of McKeen Village. We are fully aware that some of the people who make their homes there face challenges. We understand that even a short term, approximately 4 days, move can be stressful. We have tried to anticipate issues that may arise, from packing boxes to living accommodations and transportation. It is why we have enlisted the help of Milford’s exceptional senior center and Transit district for transportation and meals and shopping at MRHP expense. It is why our Executive Director, Anthony Vasiliou and the staff at MRHP have worked diligently with contractors and residents to try to insure that the work proceeds efficiently and with as little disruption to our residents’ lives as possible.

This is a huge and complex project. We are grateful to the Mayor, the Board of Aldermen, and the Housing Partnership Committee, for providing block grant money to help fund it. MRHP does not receive any money from the state for maintenance or renovations so it is also a source of great pride for us to complete this effort.

No project of this size proceeds start to finish without any hiccups. Our board and staff have worked hard to try to insure that any issues will have minimal impact on our residents. If issues occur, we will address them. We are confident that the end result of this renovation will be more satisfied and comfortable residents of Catherine McKeen village.

We also thank the community for their continued support of the Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership and our mission to assist low-income families with safe, decent, and affordable housing opportunities to achieve independence and self-reliance and improve the quality of their lives.

Charles Montalbano

Chairman, MRHP Board of Commissioners