Court Street Neighborhood Center
Big news! Just this morning, we purchased 193 Court Street in Laconia. Many of you will recognize the old Walter's Market building. Over the next few months, we will renovate the building for use as LRCD's new offices and our new Court Street Neighborhood Center.
The Court Street Neighborhood Center will enable us to provide community building & engagement programming for the low-income families that we serve throughout the City of Laconia. Our community building program aims to increase social connections, share knowledge, and develop leadership skills. Through these activities, we seek to reduce the impact of substance use disorder, enhance feelings of safety, improve overall health and wellness, and increase financial mobility of LRCD residents and their neighbors.
We are grateful for a Community Development Block Grant from NH Community Development Finance Authority to support this project. We are proud to be partnering with Meredith Village Savings Bank which provided financing to support part of the acquisition and for the renovations. We look forward to sharing progress photos with you as construction gets underway!
Thank you to everyone who reached out to their Senators last week, urging them to support affordable housing. It worked! See the update on relevant bills below.
Affordable Housing Fund. SB 15, that proposes a $10 million surplus appropriation into the Affordable Housing Fund [the Fund], as well as an annual $5 million payment from the real estate transfer tax into the Fund, passed the Senate on March 14. A smaller appropriation for the Fund was proposed by Governor Sununu in HB 2, at the level of $5 million. The state budget for state fiscal years 20-21 is now before the House Finance committee where advocates are encouraging funding at the SB 15 levels.
Housing Appeals Board. SB 306, that would create a statewide housing appeals board, passed the Senate on March 14. Similar to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals, the Housing Appeals Board would be an alternative for review of housing-related cases by the Superior Court. The Board is specifically designed to provide administrative efficiencies, subject-matter expertise, and adjudication after local reviews are exhausted. The bill, supported by the Business and Industry Association, the NH Association of Realtors and Housing Action NH, now heads to the House.
Homeless Services Expansion. SB 84, that proposes an appropriation for Senate Bill 84 to expand homeless services passed the Senate on March 14. SB 84 identifies the most pressing priorities identified by the Department of Health and Human Services and New Hampshire’s homeless service providers in order to: 1) serve those who are experiencing homelessness through expansion of case management ($2 million); 2) transition the homeless into more permanent housing solutions through rapid re-housing ($1 million); and 3) prevent an increase in homelessness in New Hampshire through eviction prevention ($2 million).
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Building Community - Laconia
Seniors who live at our River's Edge Apartments in Laconia are participating in a Cooking Matters course. The six-week course teaches low-income seniors how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. Participants get a free crockpot and a bag of groceries after each class so they can practice the recipes they were taught.
Thank you to the Partnership for Public Health for bringing this great program to our residents!
Green Tip - Spring Cleaning Recipes
As a NeighborWorks America Green Designated Organization, we have incorporated green practices across all our lines of business, and we strive to inspire our community to choose green practices for their homes and businesses. We hope you enjoy our monthly Green Tip.
Here are some simple recipes from Better Homes & Gardens for homemade cleaning solutions that will reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals and save you money:
Soft Scrub: Add enough dish soap to 1/8 cup baking soda to make a creamy mixture. Use on bathroom and kitchen surfaces with a wet rag or sponge. Rinse surface well after scrubbing.
Appliance Cleaner: Dry baking soda shines up small appliances and even removes bread wrappers burned onto the toaster. Try rubbing a teaspoon onto your grubby blender or food processor with a clean rag.
Toilet Cleaner/Deodorizer: Sprinkle toilet bowl with 1/4 cup baking soda. Drizzle with 1/4 cup white vinegar, then scour with a toilet brush.
Oven Cleaner: Sprinkle oven with 1/2 cup baking soda (more if needed) and spray with water. Let sit for several hours or overnight before scraping up stains and spills. Rinse thoroughly with water.