022519 STN Edythe K. Richmond Homes complex 1 HH

Edythe K. Richmond complex on Sisk Drive in Pawcatuck on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

PAWCATUCK — With 40 people on the waiting list and calls coming in everyday from people looking for housing, Stonington Housing Authority is considering increasing the capacity of the Edythe K. Richmond Homes complex within its 9-acre footprint on Sisk Drive.

The complex currently houses 64 elderly and disabled Stonington residents in 17 buildings containing one- and two-bedroom units scattered throughout the property. Originally built in 1980 with 50 units, the complex was expanded in 1992 with an additional 10 units.

After discussing expansion for about five years, the housing authority board recently hired an architect and engineer to assess the site, said Phylicia Adams, executive director of the complex, on Friday in her office. 

One option is to tear down the two buildings located at the top of the hill near Mayflower Avenue and replace them with one larger and taller 45-unit building equipped with an elevator and mailboxes as a “one-stop shop” for residents with mobility issues.

“Right now we have almost nine acres of land and our washers and dryers are located in our community room, so regardless of where you live on the property, you have to walk here,” Adams said. “Some of our residents have walkers, one has an oxygen tank and it can become difficult as our residents age, so the people who would live in that building wouldn’t have to make the trek.”

The two buildings went through remediation twice in the last two years for moisture and mold issues, and have had ongoing problems, Adams said.

A third building would also be torn down and a new two-story building with eight units would be constructed near the corner of Trumbull and Sisk to accommodate clients with disabilities.

Adams said she met with residents on Feb. 4 to hear their input on the concepts.

“We had about 20 out of our 64 residents attend and they asked a lot of questions,” she said. “Their concerns was where would the buildings go and would anybody be displaced.”

She said no one would be displaced or see rent increases. Residents pay 30 percent of their income as rent. 

Concerning the potential development, a notice of a “town meeting” Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Stonington Police Station was posted on the community bulletin board and mentioned on the Facebook Stonington Community Forum. The meeting coincides with the Board of Selectman’s regular meeting but is not on the selectmen’s agenda, though residents may address the issue during the public commentary period.

Adams said she did not plan to go to Wednesday’s meeting but planned to schedule a meeting about the project soon.

“The meeting has not been scheduled yet,” she said. “We’ll make sure we post notices so that the neighbors are aware and can attend.”

For more information, email Adams at Info@stoningtonHA.org.

chewitt@thewesterlysun.com

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