Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that his 10-year plan to invest in Connecticut’s affordable housing will begin by spending $263 million to renovate or create more than a thousand cheap rental units in cities across the state.

At a Hartford press conference the governor said the state will use the Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties, or CHAMP, to help fund 10 affordable housing properties in Bridgeport, Guilford, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, and Norwich. The investment will help improve or create 1,018 affordable rental units.

The Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority will also be helping to fund 10 “shovel ready” projects that will renovate as many as 1,257 state-sponsored affordable rental units, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Malloy wanted to put his announcement in perspective, saying the state’s affordable housing portfolio has languished for years.

“In a single day we’re announcing [$263] million of investments. The entire state’s investment between 2000 and 2010, through the end of 2010, was $200 million,” he said. “… Our administration has made an unprecedented commitment to affordable housing.”

The governor said investments in affordable housing pay off by stimulating economic development and creating jobs.

“When we invest in housing we invest in people, in communities, and our economic future, we invest in our cities and we make them better places to live and to work. Stable housing affects the quality of neighborhoods, the education of our kids, the health of our citizens and the opportunity for individuals and families to live in thriving communities,” Malloy said. 

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said the projects will be transportation-oriented, energy efficient, and designed to meet the needs of the communities they are located in.

CHFA Executive Director Eric Chatman said the plan will begin with an investment of around $20 million for construction projects to improve properties in the next few months. Another $10 million has been approved for pre-construction expenses to begin refurbishing the most deteriorated properties in Connecticut’s state-sponsored housing portfolio, he said.

Smith said that the state Bond Commission has already authorized about $80 million for projects that have recently been breaking ground around the state. She said there is another $200 million allocated for affordable housing investments, and another $300 million for supportive housing, which the legislature has approved but has yet to be bonded.