Introduction & Summary

Best Practices


Section 5 (h) Homeownership Plan Manual
For the New Community Through the Campus of Learners Concept
Introduction and Summary

Beginning Principles

The Charter Oak Terrace Homeownership Program of The Hartford Housing Authority is the Authority’s most ambitious initiative in recent history. An obsolete public housing rental development has been demolished and an exciting new community based on homeownership has taken its place.

Eligible Families



All families who live in units managed by the Hartford Housing Authority or who are eligible for public housing in the City of Hartford are eligible for the homeownership program. As part of the program, priority for participation was determined in the following order:

  1. Priority # 1 Families currently living in Charter Oak Terrace and those who were relocated due to the redevelopment of Charter Oak Terrace

  2. Priority # 2 Families living in other Low Income Public Housing conventional units

  3. Priority # 3 Families living in Section 8 units managed by the Hartford Housing Authority

  4. Priority # 4 Families living in Moderate Rental communities managed by the Hartford Housing Authority

  5. Priority # 5 City of Hartford Families who are public housing eligible

Notification & Selection of families

All Hartford Housing Authority families were notified by letter and those not living in Authority units by newspaper advertisement. All those who applied were exposed to an intensive program of orientation, application, workshops, background reviews, and interviews. The selection process as devised and executed is a model working partnership between the staff of the Authority and resident leaders not only of Charter Oak Terrace but representative tenant leaders from the City wide umbrella organization, the Hartford Tenants Rights Federation.

Size of the new community

The new community of 130 homes replaces 1,000 obsolete units. The old Charter Oak Terrace had devolved into a dysfunctional setting which represented an outdated / unworkable public housing model.

Of the 130 new homes:

20are single family detached models, and
110are duplex units.

See site maps and designs

How the homes will be sold.

All homes will be sold in "fee simple" including land and building.

First Mortgages

The 20 single family homes are to be sold "outright" upon completion of construction to families who already have at least $15,000 in family income per year, and who can obtain a first mortgage of at least $20,000. The first mortgage to be obtained from a local bank or financial institution is calculated so that the family pays no more than 35% of their annual income in first mortgage principal and interest, taxes, insurance and utilities.

Those families choosing the Rent to Own Option under the Campus of Learners concept will also obtain a first mortgage under the same terms when they are ready to buy, some time within the 5 year window of the option.

Second Mortgages

The Housing Authority writes a second mortgage for the difference between the first mortgage calculated above and the appraised value of the home. The Second mortgage, scheduled to coincide with the term of the first mortgage, does not bear interest or principal, but is "due and payable" upon sale or in the event of a default as described later.

Those families choosing the Rent to Own Option under the Campus of Learners concept will also be issued a second mortgage under similar terms when they are ready to buy, some time within the 5 year window of the option.

No "windfall"

In an effort to discourage windfall profits, the family must share equally with the Housing Authority any appreciation on the sale of the home within the first three years.

Deed restrictions

There are a series of deed restrictions included with the "Quit Claim Deed". These resemble typical restrictions found in planned communities. Prior approval from the Housing Authority is required in order to make additions to the home, build a fence, etc.

First Mortgage "re-opener"

If the buying family is joined by another adult who has a job, the family must report that event to the Housing Authority and revise their first mortgage upward to reflect the new income, thereby reducing the second mortgage.

Rent to Own (Duplexes) and the Campus of Learners concept

The 110duplex units will be rented to families who can not purchase immediately upon completion of construction. The lease involved with this aspect of the homeownership program includes a five year (time limited) option to buy. Each family’s progress toward the ultimate goal of home ownership is monitored under an individually crafted "Contract of Participation" through the Campus of Learners concept. (see Tab). The basic principle of the Campus of Learners is to foster each family in their quest for self sufficiency and homeownership.

Team Effort

The 5 (h) plan writing and submission was spearheaded by the Homeownership Committee of the Housing Authority, comprised of residents and staff. This committee has performed exemplary work, is currently active on a daily basis, and is scheduled to be on-going throughout the implementation process.

© 2018-2022 The Housing Authority of the City of Hartford

180 John D. Wardlaw Way Hartford, CT 06106  Telephone 860-723-8400

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