Unionville Section of Farmington, CT – Connecticut 5th Congressional District
New Horizons, Inc. (AKA New Horizons Village), the Town of Farmington, and the Connecticut Department of Housing have partnered to stabilize, modernize, and implement energy-efficiency upgrades to existing affordable housing residences and endeavored to create and construct 22 additional state-of-the-art, one-bedroom units on the campus of NHV. The addition of the 22 units made it possible to positively impact the lives of the residents who once shared living space to realize independent living and supportive care services. NHV provides affordable ADA-compliant housing with added support services to 101 adults with physical disabilities. The individuals living in the Village have a wide range of physical disabilities including Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, spinal cord injuries as well as other clinically diagnosed disabilities of the central nervous system. Most tenants rely on motorized wheelchairs for mobility; therefore, having access to quality accessible housing is vital.
The Connecticut Department of Housing continues to place high importance on supporting initiatives that enhance accessible housing across the state’s housing portfolio. This project is an example of a development that has improved the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and while other technological advancement opportunities exist, has strategically placed NHV to sustain itself for another 20-25 years. The project is at 98% completion with a development budget that is set to expire on 12/1/2023.
Nestled on 26 sprawling acres in a quiet Connecticut suburb is New Horizons Village. The 501(c)(3) organization has made it its mission to serve individuals with physical disabilities. For the last 37 years, New Horizons’ quest has been to provide affordable wheelchair-accessible housing with added support services including back-up care and transportation. The Connecticut Department of Housing partnered with New Horizons Village to make much-needed improvements to their existing buildings and to construct 22 additional one-bedroom apartments. This project has benefited the tenants and the greater community through the following improvements:
New Horizons Village is meeting an important need in the community. The federal funding that was received as part of this project has allowed New Horizons to further its mission of providing housing and support services for people with physical disabilities who want to live in a community that maximizes opportunities for independent, self-directed living.
Cutting-edge automatic door openers have been installed across our campus. Stanley Access Technologies developed this product which has made a tremendous impact on the individuals that we serve. Almost all the tenants that live at New Horizons Village utilize motorized wheelchairs for mobility. Most have dexterity challenges as a result of their physical disabilities. Prior to this project, many residents struggled to open and close their doors. Pull ropes were often utilized when operating the door.
The new automatic door opener technology has been life changing. Tenants can now open and close their door with a single click of a button. They no longer need to utilize a pull rope or ask for assistance from a caregiver.
The following short video highlights how cutting-edge technology has improved lives by providing the gift of independence to those in need:
Call-for-aid systems have also been installed in each apartment. This technology allows tenants to immediately alert New Horizons Village staff members if there is an emergency or if they need assistance.
The technology enhancements that were included in this project have made a huge difference! These new products and features have greatly benefited the 101 adults with physical disabilities that live at New Horizons Village by supporting their quest to live as independently as possible. Also, with the installation of accessible garden beds, launched the Implementation of the resident gardening program so residents can grow their own food.
New Horizons Village is hoping to install additional smart home technology in our new and existing buildings in the near future. Residents would benefit from additional products such as voice-activated shades and light bulbs as well as smart thermostats. We will continue to look for additional funding sources in order to bring additional technology to the Village.
Small Cities CDBG (2018 and 2019)
Miguel Rivera, Unit Director
Connecticut Department of Housing
Housing and Community Development
Dominic Carew, Program Manager, Small Cities Team Leader
Jody Trestman, Project Manager