HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Bond Commission on Thursday approved the sale of up to $800 million in state bonds to pay for construction and infrastructure projects across the state.

Among other items, the commission approved money to expand affordable housing, fund new school construction, and pay for a variety of other small and popular  initiatives — such as subsidizing the return of Aer Lingus flights to Europe from Bradley International Airport and paying for the purchase of body cameras by smaller municipal police departments.

The commission earmarked nearly $100 million for economic development under the state’s Community Investment Fund.  In New Haven, the new state money will finance $2.2 million in improvements to a new shelter for the homeless and $12.1 million for development at Long Wharf Park, including a food truck pavilion. Another $5 million will go toward apartment construction at Science Park.

“The Community Investment Fund was established last year to improve the economic vibrancy of historically underserved neighborhoods,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “Over the next several years, this program will be responsible for providing an incredible amount of opportunities for Connecticut’s cities and towns to revitalize their economic base and chart a path of equitable growth. Each of these projects supports this goal, and I am glad we’ve been able to get them approved.”

The state will also spend $250 million to assist local school districts with new school construction and renovation projects.

Another $70 million will go toward expanding affordable housing through the state’s “ Time to Own.” The program provides low interest loans to eligible first-time homebuyers to fund up to 25% of the cost of the home, up to $50,000.  

Other projects funded include:

  • $6.8 million  for pedestrian safety in Bristol
  • $7.2 million for a recreation center in New London
  • $1.7 million for YMCA expansion in New Britain
  • $7.5 million for downtown streetscape projects in Manchester
  • $5.4 million to redevelop a middle school into an arts center in Hamden
  • $8.5 million for assist construction of 235 new apartments in Hartford