Empowering property owners and communities with tools to revitalize their historic town centers.

Come-Home-logo-150x150In 2012, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) contracted CMSC to develop and administer the Come Home to Downtown program with the aim of bringing more housing downtown by assisting the owners of small properties to redevelop their underutilized buildings into housing above commercial space.

Engaging an expert team of consultants, CMSC provides select communities and property owners with customized technical assistance, working with them to develop viable redevelopment options that include identifying solutions to address the financial gap. The CMSC team also offers guidance to local officials on how to facilitate mixed-use development in the downtown, assessing issues such as zoning and regulatory requirements.

In addition to working with the individual communities and property owners (see below), CMSC also shares lessons learned from the program in order to facilitate this type of mixed-use redevelopment in other towns. At the close of the program’s first year, CMSC issued an extensive report of its findings, and we continue to inform the industry about this unique program through presentations at local, regional and national conferences.  In recognition of our outreach efforts, CMSC was awarded the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (CCAPA) 2013 Education & Outreach Award.

Documents and Other Information

Year 2 Program Overview – This PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the second year of the program, including identifying the challenges and opportunities participating communities and small property owners can expect to be addressed.

Come Home to Downtown Fact Sheet – This document succinctly describes the services CMSC will provide through the program, as well as the selection criteria used to determine the pilot communities.

Year 1 Final Report, Executive Summary – The Executive Summary provides a succinct overview of the program, the communities selected and seven key findings from the CMSC team.

Year 1 Final Report – This report offers an in-depth look at the first year of the Come Home to Downtown program. Here you’ll find extensive information on the redevelopment options provided to the small property owners, an assessment of relevant policies and regulations in the selected communities, as well as seven key findings discerned by the CMSC team as a result of this work.

Year 1 Key Findings – This document clearly outlines several conclusions identified by the CMSC team on how Connecticut can enliven its downtowns by redeveloping under-utilized buildings into a blend of housing above commercial space.

Come Home to Downtown Wins CCAPA AwardMain Street Now, the publication of the National Main Street Center, reports on CMSC’s 2013 Education & Outreach Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association for its public outreach efforts under the Come Home to Downtown program.

“The Housing Primer that isn’t just about housing”– This article from the National Main Street Center’s magazine, Main Street Now, discusses the growing demand for urban-style living – walkable downtowns with amenities, small businesses, character and a sense of place.

Contact Us – For more information about the Come Home to Downtown program, contact Susan Westa at 860.280.2032 or by email at susan@ctmainstreet.org.