(Concord, NH) The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) has approved Community Development Block Grant awards of nearly $3.1 million for seven New Hampshire municipalities and counties to offset the costs of affordable housing and public facilities projects. This is on top of an additional $3.1 million in CDBG grants awarded to communities by CDFA in the first part of 2012. Approximately 131 new affordable housing units will be created.
“New Hampshire communities are aggressively responding to the needs of their low- to moderate-income residents. That’s why there is such demand for CDBG,” said Kevin Flynn, CDFA Communication Director. “The communities awarded are doing innovative things by adapting existing structures and making them into affordable housing for seniors or families. These are exceptional projects they’re running.”
The seven grants were preliminarily awarded in October. Most were contingent upon the projects receiving matching financing from a separate housing agency, but a delay in those awards pushed back the CDBG announcement until now.
The projects awarded Community Development Block Grants include:
- A $500,000 Housing grant to Coös County on behalf of the Tri-County Community Action Program to convert the currently vacant Notre Dame School building into 33 units of ADA accessible senior housing. The city of Berlin has already conducted an environmental clean-up of the site, but the 105 year old landmark building remains an eyesore and public hazard. This adaptive reuse will foster revitalization and address the region’s need for affordable elderly housing. [editor's note: this project has withdrawn from further consideration]
- A $402,000 Public Facilities grant to the City of Berlin on behalf of the Tri-County Community Action Program to address energy conservation issues at the Angel Guardian Resource Center. The 100 year old building will get high-end weatherization measures, including the installation of 3 wood pellet boilers. Reducing energy costs by 35% will mean more money in programming for the service agencies operating there, including Head Start, North Country Elder Programs, and Meals on Wheels. [editor's note: this project has withdrawn from further consideration]
- A $388,800 Housing grant to the Town of Milford for site work related to the conservation of an historic mill structure into 50 units of low cost housing. The Pine Valley Mill Affordable Family Apartments project will address the town’s lack of quality affordable housing and save the mill structure along the Souhegan River.
- A $492,500 Housing grant to the Town of Marlborough on behalf of Southwestern Community Services to create 24 senior units from a vacant elementary school. The old Marlborough school will be renovated into the Marlborough Homes Senior Housing, serving the poorest of the community’s elderly population, often at risk of institutionalization or homelessness.
- A $500,000 Housing grant to the Town of Wolfeboro on behalf of the Eastern Lakes Region Housing Coalition to aid in the creation of another 24 units of workforce housing at Harriman Hill. This award will pay for site work to begin Phase II of this successful affordable workforce housing initiative.
- A $500,000 Public Facilities grant to the City of Concord for the renovation and expansion of the Concord Boys and Girls Club Bradley Street Club Housing. The expanded space will allow the organization to increase the number of low- to moderate-income children they service.
- A $266,342 Housing grant to the Town of Conway to help pay for the buyout of 13 homes left uninhabitable by damage from Tropical Storm Irene. The award will cover the town’s portion of a FEMA grant to raze the structures and return the land along the Saco River to permanent green space.
There were $1.5 million in additional requests from New Hampshire towns that were denied, because either CDBG funds or the matching financing from other affordable housing organizations dried up.
“While the need for suitable, dignified housing for low- to moderate-income residents continues to grow, the federal resources that local communities have come to rely upon remain uncertain,” said Flynn. “We continue to watch what happens in Washington closely and hope that legislators make these programs a priority.”
The grants await final confirmation from the Executive Council.
The CDBG program funds provide housing and create jobs primarily for low- and moderate-income people. Funds are provided to the state of New Hampshire by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and administered by CDFA. Each project is evaluated on several criteria, including impact on low- and moderate-income residents and the acquisition of matching funding.