News & Events

Community builds new playground at McKeithen Park

Scores of neighborhood and corporate volunteers gathered at McKeithen Park on Lawn Avenue at the end of August to realize a dream that’s been in the making for years:  Building a bright, new, safe, and exciting playground for children and the local community.

Charter Oak Communities (COC) partnered with the City of Stamford, the Lawnhill Terrace Resident Council, Family Centers, and KaBOOM! (the national non-profit dedicated to bringing active play to children) to install the new playground equipment. MetLife Foundation and Barnum Financial Group donated significant financial support and many volunteers for the event.

The project began last fall when Charter Oak and the City discussed redeveloping the park in partnership with residents of Lawnhill Terrace. To launch the event, the Lawnhill Terrace Resident Council coordinated volunteers for a spring clean-up. Family Centers organized arts and craft activities for children while parents volunteered. Charter Oak partnered with Family Centers to coordinate community support and fundraising efforts.

Over 60 children and adults participated in “Design Day” in June. The kids drew their dream playgrounds, which the adults reviewed for feasibility. Designs were voted on along with colors and type of equipment. All playground signage is printed in English, Spanish and Creole.

Equipment, storage containers, dumpsters and tools were delivered a few days in advance of the build day, and the community came together on August 28th to assemble the playground. The day included music, food, drink and activities for children and parents, and a formal dedication ceremony with officials from participating organizations and the City took place that afternoon. Congratulations to everyone for their vision and hard work, and come visit and play with your neighbors!

HMS OWL (Online Waiting List) portal

Charter Oak Communities (COC) is happy to announce the HMS OWL (Online Waiting List) portal.  This gives applicants the opportunity to verify their status on waiting lists they have applied for.  To find instruction on how to access the portal, place your mouse over the “Applications” tab above.  Next, place your mouse over “Leasing Office” and click on “HMS OWL (Online Waiting List).”  You will then be taken to a web page that has a link to the set of instructions on how to register and gain access to the HMS OWL (Online Waiting List) portal.  Once registered on the portal, you can verify your status.



Charter Oak Communities – Come Share the Vision
Welcome to Charter Oak Communities (COC), formerly the Stamford Housing Authority, which provides attractive, affordable homes for thousands of Stamford residents comprising a wide range of demographics and needs. COC is a leading advocate and champion for innovative, creative partnerships that are redefining public-assisted housing communities in Connecticut and across America.

Through visionary leadership, innovative financing arrangements, astute human relations and comprehensive partnerships with local, state and Federal government and the private sector, COC is changing Stamford’s landscape – literally as well as figuratively – by replacing the aged models of public housing that often became a blight on cities with modern, attractive communities that are welcome additions to their residents, neighbors and neighborhoods.

See what we’ve accomplished – and the new communities we’re now building – by visiting About COC under the Our Roots tab.



On October 17, Fairgate Farm celebrates its 5th growing season with our annual Harvest Festival! We had a banner year at the farm, with many farm improvements and new crops, including fruit trees (plum, peach, apple and more).

Summer events included our June Strawberry Festival and the popular Farm to Table 6-week Family Workshop series. September brings Yoga at the Farm and a demonstration/tasting of Quick Pickling methods.

Our volunteer program expanded, with many new corporate supporters (including NestleWaters, CPG Architects, Pitney Bowes and others) plus individual “farmers” joining our ranks. We had summer interns from the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, from NCC and others who helped out with planting, cooking, photography and more.

Our composting program now diverts 500 pounds/week of trash from local landfills, transforming it into rich fertilizer for our farm – which we happily share with neighbors and other local community gardens.

As always, volunteers enjoy the “fruits of their labors,” taking home freshly picked produce, while we continued to deliver “farm to table” produce to local organizations and agencies, including Scofield Manor, the New Covenant Soup Kitchen, Inspirica and others.

What a year! We look forward to an even wider range of activities for 2016!

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