Anne Kremer Interview:
This is file 16, cycle 2. Today’s date is February 9, 2016. This is jean McMillen. I am interviewing Anne Kremer. She is going to talk about the Salisbury Housing committee and all sorts of projects that they have done and projects for the future. But we will start with the genealogical information.
JM:what is your name?
AK:May 17, 1941
JM:Your parents’ names?
AK:Marie and George Connery
JM:Do you have siblings?
AK:No I’m an only child, a proud only child.
JM:We are special. Educational background after high school?
AK:I have a Bachelor’s from Sarah Lawrence College and MSW from the University of North Carolina.
JM:Masters of Social Work?
JM:How did you come to the area?
AK:We came because our son and his wife and 2 darling grandchildren moved here from Canton, New York which never tempted us to move because it is terribly cold and snowy. They moved here for his to work at Hotchkiss. We were ready to leave Florida; we had both retired. We put our house on the market and we came up and looked around. She sold our house and then we moved here.
JM:What year was that when you moved here?
AK:That was 2006.
JM:When you came to town, you got involved with some civic activities. What was the first one you got involved with?
AK:Well first of all was the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee. The Chairman of the town committee was also on the Salisbury Housing Committee Board. I asked Al Ginouves if he could get me onto the board. They looked me over and happily agreed that I could be on the board. So that was the first thing I did. I also was the Board of the Friends of the Scoville Library for a while. I had a lot of fun doing book sales for a couple of years. I had a lot of fun with you, Jean. (And Lucie Collins Ed.)
JM:I remember that.
AK:That was the best part. Then I was on the board of EXTRAS for a while. (See file #61 Lou Bucceri) It is very hard for me to think about raising money for a bunch of money for several different groups because how do you sort out where to put the request. I got out of EXTRAS. Then when my back interfered I left the Friends of the Library Board. All I do now is the Salisbury Housing Committee.
JM:but to do anything well, it takes a lot of time and that is where you are focused right now.
According to the information you gave me, the Salisbury Housing Committee started with a church group back in 1970? (See file #66 Rev. Dick Tabor)
AK:Yes in that era and they bought Faith House which is located at East Meadow. Actually I think they built Faith House, (30 Fowler Street, Salisbury, Ct. Ed.). It is different there; it is 6 one bedroom apartments. There are 2 duplexes opposite. I always forget that the town owns a little green house on Railroad Street that is behind LaBonne’s. We always call that Academy Street, and I always forget about it, but we have an arrangement with the town to manage it. It is working out just fine. There are nine units there. (This is low income housing; Salisbury Housing Committee is a private nonprofit organization. Ed.)
JM:How many members are on the board?
AK:16 why so many?
JM:You need a lot for various committees.
JM:What is your term of office?
AK:Apparently forever! It could be 2 or 3 years but no one has said that he or she didn’t want to do it.
JM;When do you meet?
AK:We meet every second month on the 4 Wednesday at 5:00 PM. So that means 6 meetings a year.
JM:Where do you meet?
AK:We meet at Town Hall.
JM:What is the purpose of the Salisbury Housing Committee?3.
AK:The purpose is to own and manage low income rental housing in the Salisbury area.
JM:By low income rental you mean for people that work in town or is it open to anyone?
AK:The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) says that it is open to everyone. Because the USDA own the mortgage on Sarum Village it is government funded, you have to allow anybody who wants to live there to live there. I can say as far as I know everybody who lives there now came from this area or works in this area. If you think about it, this is a pretty isolated rural area; you are not going to migrate here just to find housing; there has to be another reason to be here.
JM:We have a lot of second home owners, but if you are working in the area, it is difficult to find a place to live. Now you told me that there are three projects. You have already mentioned the first one which is East Meadow and Faith Housing and that come in the 1970’s. Sarum Village was in the 1980’s and that is the one that has the 50 year 1% mortgage.
JM:How many units are there in that?
AK:There are 16 units.
JM:Where is it located?
AK:It is located on Cobble Road between route 44 and 41 that little junction there.
JM:Do they have any town houses?
AK:I guess you would say that there are town houses. There are 4 units and each have 4 apartments.
JM:Are they one bedroom, 2 bedrooms?
AK:There are one and two bedrooms; there are no three bedrooms.
JM:How is it funded?
AK: It is funded because we pay the mortgage and they I just got this clarified today. It is based on 30% of their annual income. In other words they pay 30%; they are not supposed to be paying more than 30% of their annual income. Sadly some people do not have enough money to get near the 30%. So those people it is very problematic. Some of those people have a subsidy that the Department of Agriculture has additional funding that goes to 12 of those units. Those people maybe are less than 30%. It is a rather rigorous process. They do a criminal background check, they do bank records. They have a company that does that. I have seen the form; it is three pages long. People are very careful about being sure that they have pretty good credit and whatever.
JM:You also said that East Meadow and Sarum Village are managed. What is the company that managed those properties?
AK:It is called Connecticut Real Estate Management.
JM:How long have they been managing the properties?
AK:I would say 5 or 6 years because I was just coming on the board when they were picking a new management company. After a lot of interviewing of people as Jim Dresser says you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to the prince. They have done a really good job. They charge a certain amount every month and for that they have an on-site manager one day a week. They do all background checks; they take care of all the repairs and all the problems. They also do the financial and let us know each month how things are working.
JM:Wonderful, so they are in charge of the maintenance and everything.
AK:Right, we just happen to own it. They do the work.
JM:Nicely done! Now you have a new project going that you just got the funding for and this is why I am interviewing you now rather than 2 years back when I originally asked you. What is the new project?
AK:The new project is going to be 8 more units on the site. For people familiar with the area it is kind of a U shape. The four units are on the top of the U and the bottom of the U is empty. We are going to construct 8 units there. They are going to be 2- 3 bedroom units, 2 -2 bedroom units and 4- 1 bedroom units. This is at Sarum Village.
JM:This is the area of land close to Cobble Road?
AK:No, this is the land backing up to the cemetery (St. Mary’s Ed.).
JM:Do you have an architect?
AK:We do have an architect; it is Quisenberry & Arcari in Farmington, Ct. They are quite wonderful. They do a lot of this kind of work. They are quite a large firm.
JM:do you have builders?
AK:We do have a builder. It is Sandino & Co., but I don’t remember where they are from.
JM:What was the funding that you got?
AK:We got it from the Department of Housing, from a source called CHAMP, Connecticut Housing and something etc. Even our consultant does know the name for the acronym. but this is where the money comes from.
JM:May I ask how much?5.
AK:Nearly 2 million dollars, I couldn’t tell you exactly.
JM:Will the rent on these new units be subsidized?
AK:We are thinking about it but we are not sure yet. What we are thinking is this money is coming as not a loan but a grant. In which case we will own it outright and we won’t be paying a mortgage every month. So we will be able to do just as people for their 30% of their income. We wouldn’t need more subsidies. We had thought that we would have to raising money for subsidies, but this all takes quite a long time so we are not exactly sure how it works out.
JM:What have I not asked you about the Salisbury Housing Committee that I should?
AK:One thing I should tell you is that we are a private non-profit organization. We are a 501(C3). So our board meetings are private. We can invite people to come, but basically our board meetings are private. We have one meeting a year that the USDA wants to be open. We advertise in the paper; we pay an enormous amount to have an official legal notice. We put it into the Sampler and n0body ever comes! We try. That is what I wanted to say that it is a private non-profit. People tend to think we are part of the town because we meet at the Town Hall. The town is just very gracious about others using their facilities.
JM:The town has put forth a helping hand to anyone that wants it which is absolutely incredible.
AKJ:They are really great.
JM:Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
AK:It was great fun.