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Banks, Housing Development Fund, Open Affordable Danbury Apartments

The Housing Development Fund, the Savings Bank of Danbury, Union Savings Bank and Newtown Savings Bank, unveiled a 12-unit apartment building downtown with four affordable housing units.

The team that completed a 12-unit apartment building with four affordable units on Grand Street included three banks, a regional housing development fund, a modular home builder, private developers and the City of Danbury.

"We've helped hundreds of Danburians buy houses over the last few years," said Joan Carty, president and CEO of the Housing Development Fund, the organization where these banks, builders, developers and the city cooperate.

Carty was given credit by three bank presidents, three company presidents and the mayor for keeping everyone on track for this $1.1 million, one-year project.

"She gets it done every time," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "We have to go to bat a bit harder for affordable housing. We have to rise a little higher to make it work."

Hal Wibling, president of the Savings Bank of Danbury, said Carty is an extraordinary leader, and the team brought together three banks to help make this project happen.

The apartment building at 41 Grand St. has 12 units with Energy Star V3 certification. For four units, the rent can't be more than 30 percent of the tenant's gross monthly income. Those tenants must earn no more than the median family income for this area. The building includes one, two and three bedroom units.

The three banks, Union Savings Bank, the Savings Bank of Danbury and the Newtown Savings Bank, are all "mutual" banks, meaning they don't answer to stockholders, and they all are committed to their communities. Unlike non-mutual banks, they cannot be purchased by larger banks unless they convert themselves from a mutual bank into a stock bank.

"We're friendly competitors," said Fran Dattalo, president and CEO of Union Savings Bank, who also praised Carty.

"She lives affordable housing. She has passion. She fights for the cause," Dattalo said. "We're fortunate to have her in this role."

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