Our focus this past month has been reaching out to our residents to educate them about COVID-19 and to help them meet their most immediate needs, including food and prescription medications.
We are grateful to our supporters and partners who have reached out during the last month to ask how COVID-19 is impacting our ability to provide healthy and affordable housing for the Lakes Region. For many organizations serving people of low-income, COVID-19 has created an immediate surge in demand for services. For Lakes Region Community Developers, COVID-19 is a slower-moving crisis that could get worse over time as the short-term government stimulus wears off and the economic recession deepens. It is still too early to know the full impact.
The biggest risk to LRCD is that a significant portion of our residents cannot pay rent for a sustained period of time. All of our properties operate at extremely thin margins – we budget for them to break even each year in order to keep rents as low as possible. Most of “our properties” are not actually ours at all; they really belong to the investors who purchased our low-income housing tax credits, which provide the bulk of the money needed to build the rental homes we operate. If these properties operate in the red for too long, LRCD is on the hook to fill in the gap and make our investors whole.
As we enter the second month of the COVID-19 crisis, our focus turns to working with our residents to help them find resources to pay as much of their rent as possible. We fully support Governor Sununu’s executive order halting all evictions during this crisis. We took the additional step of waiving all late fees. The Hodges Companies, our third-party property manager, and Kristy Pearce, LRCD’s Resident Services Coordinator, are working in lock-step to provide information and support to LRCD residents to help them access rental assistance funds from a variety of agencies. We will work in partnership with our residents to ensure that all of our families remain in safe and healthy housing during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
We are extremely grateful to many of our funders for providing flexibility and new sources of financing and grants to help us overcome the challenges ahead. With support from our community, we will continue to pursue our vision of a community where everyone has a healthy home and is empowered to succeed.
How You Can Help
Over these last few weeks, we have heard first-hand from many LRCD residents about the local organizations that have helped them meet their basic needs during this crisis. We’ve compiled the list below and encourage you to donate to one or more of them today, if you can.
Granite United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund
Got Lunch! Laconia
Helping Hands Senior Support for the Lakes Region
Find them on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at 1-802-242-1574.
Life Ministries Food Pantry (Wolfeboro)
Got Lunch! Inter-Lakes
Make checks payable to Trinity Episcopal Church with “Got Lunch! Inter-Lakes” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 635, Meredith, NH 03253.
Every Child Is Ours (Winnisquam School District)