“Buying a first home is an important landmark in the life of any new family, and Bridgeport Neighborhood trust does an admirable job making that happen for hundreds of Connecticut residents,” said Senator Ayala. “This is the perfect example of how the state can work together with a local organization to improve the community. Small Business Express and other state programs have helped Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust create jobs and help families find homes.”
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust seeks to strengthen communities by revitalizing aged, unwanted homes and selling them to new families. Over the past eight years, BNT has helped 457 families across Connecticut become homeowners in one of their 95 new affordable housing units or 700 lead-safe apartments. BNT builds some homes from the ground up, while others are donated by organizations like Bank of America and refurbished by BNT. These homes are made available at an affordable cost for purchase by low to moderate income families. This gives a family a place to live, and helps fight blight by turning dilapidated properties into beautiful homes. All proceeds from the sale of these homes go toward a fund that helps BNT continue its work.
BNT was able to create new jobs thanks to the Small Business Express Program. Small Business Express, which Senator Ayala supported as part of a landmark jobs bill in 2011, provides business owners with grants or loans that they may use to purchase or lease machinery, expand operations, relocate within Connecticut, or for use as working capital. To date, the Small business Express Program has helped 1,077 businesses or organizations like BNT create or retain over 15,000 jobs.