(Concord, NH) The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) has approved a Community Development Block Grant award of $500,000 to the city of Keene on behalf of the Base Hill Cooperative for replacement of the facility’s sewer system. This grant was made with a windfall allocation after the city’s application had been approved by CDFA twice before, but left unfunded due to lack of money.
“This was a project CDFA has wanted to fund for some time. Other municipal housing and public facilities projects had scored higher in the last two competitive rounds and there was never enough money left over to make an award to Keene,” said Communications Director Kevin Flynn. Two recent CDBG awards were rescinded when the Tri-County Community Action Program went into state receivership, freeing nearly $1 million in funds for the Base Hill project.
Flynn said there are many deficiencies with the manufactured housing cooperative’s sewer system, which was built in 1965. Residents have had sewage backup into their homes and bathtubs, and toilets often “bubble up.” Lines are buried too shallow to prevent freezing and manholes are filled with clogged sewage. The slope and size of the sewer lines do not meet current NHDES standards.
“The need to make these upgrades for the health and safety of residents is urgent. Nearly three-quarters of the cooperative’s residents are low- to moderate-income and, without this grant, doing the work would be cost-prohibitive,” said Flynn.
Flynn noted that the federal allocation for the Community Development Block Grant has decreased 28% since 2004, resulting in fewer affordable housing and public infrastructure initiatives in New Hampshire being implemented. “We’re just glad we were able to free up the resources to move this project forward.”
CDBG funds will be used for the replacement of park’s sanitary sewer collection system, and connect the new system to the existing 6-inch off-site sewer that ties into the municipal system. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $500,000. The grant awaits 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.
CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. CDFA, created by the Legislature in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire. CDFA administers nearly $57 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Energy Reduction Funds. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit www.nhcdfa.org or call 603-226-2170.