SOUTHINGTON — A state grant for the Arc of Southington could help facilitate independent living for those with intellectual disabilities at a proposed housing complex in Cheshire.
With the $20,000 approved by the state, Arc hopes to install technologies in affordable apartments that can keep residents safe, remind them of appointments and notify caregivers if routines are off.
“There’s all sorts of different technology that will be installed,” said Patricia Gibney, Arc CEO. “Ovens that go off… flood protectors if a toilet overflows.”
Arc has group homes in Southington, Cheshire and Wallingford. Gibney said the project under consideration in Cheshire would allow those with intellectual disabilities the option to live with roommates or alone in a typical setting as an alternative to a group home.
“They go into group homes and they have no choice of who they live with, Now they have a choice to live with a roommate they can pick or live by themselves,” Gibney said.Housing planned in Cheshire
Gibney has been talking with officials at The Metro Realty Group, a Farmington development company. That company is looking to build housing on the west side of Route 10 south of East Johnson Avenue. The project will include 15 affordable units, Gibney said, which will make them accessible financially for Arc clients.
“These apartments are going to be gorgeous, just stunning,” she said.
Metro Realty officials had a public hearing with the Cheshire Planning and Zoning Commission about rezoning and site plan approval for the project last week. No action was taken at the meeting.
If all is approved, Gibney said the apartments may be ready to rent in 2026.Group home upgrades and improvements
Gibney worked with state Rep. Chris Poulos, D-Southington, to get the $20,000 grant. Poulos said Southington is fortunate to have an organization like Arc and he was able to double an initial request of $10,000.
“I know they’re doing great work,” Poulos said. “Not every town has an Arc that is so engaged.”
If the Cheshire housing doesn’t work out or isn’t approved, Gibney said there’s a host of improvements, upgrades and repairs that could take place with the existing eight group homes. She knew of decks that needed to be redone and there’s also a constant need for furniture.
“There’s so many things we can use the money for,” Gibney said.
Like households, Poulos said non-profit organizations are also feeling the effects of inflation and rising material and labor costs.
“They’re stretched as well,” he said.