Meet Chris Dickinson, New Board Member
In November 2017, after many years living and working in the Boston area, Chris Dickinson returned to the Lakes Region, where he grew up, to join Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB). He currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development and Small Business Lending. He has 25 years of banking and management experience. Prior to joining MVSB, he held leadership positions in retail banking, small business banking, and commercial lending. Prior to joining MVSB, he served as the Chief Credit Officer for a financial institution in Massachusetts.
Chris currently serves as a board member of the Belknap Economic Development Council (EDC) and the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. He is also a corporate member of the Laconia Rotary Club. Other memberships include the Massachusetts Bankers Association, The Risk Management Associates - New England Chapter, and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Chris holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned his MBA from New England College of Business. He received extensive training and holds many certifications in risk management and commercial lending from the Massachusetts Bankers Association and The Risk Management Associates.
Chris had this say about joining the board, "It feels great to be part of such a caring organization that gives back to our community by providing healthy and affordable housing solutions."
Outside of work, Chris enjoys many of his favorite outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.
Congratulations to the New Officers of the Board of Directors
Community Building in Laconia
The LRCD Green Team celebrated America Recycles Day with the residents of River’s Edge in Laconia by rolling out a new building-wide recycling program. The Green Team talked about recycling with residents at their weekly Coffee Hour. All residents received recycling bins.
Community Building in Meredith
The young residents of Pinecrest got into the Halloween spirit carving and painting pumpkins.
Recent Grant Awards
What is LIHTC?
You may have seen the recent news that we received an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from NH Housing for our rehabilitation project at Harvey Heights Ashland. While we wait to find out about other funding needed for the Ashland project, we thought we would take this opportunity to explain what LIHTC is and how it works because it is a critical component in most of our projects.
The LIHTC program is a federal tax credit program established in 1986 to encourage investment of private equity into affordable housing for low-income households. Without an incentive like LIHTC, the development of affordable rental properties is not attractive to private investors because affordable rentals do not generate much, if any, profit.
Every year, the IRS allocates a certain amount of LIHTCs to each state based on population. In New Hampshire, the LIHTC program is administered by NH Housing Finance Authority, which runs a competitive award process every year to determine which projects in NH will be able to use LIHTCs.
In the case of Harvey Heights Ashland, we were awarded $552,835 in LIHTCs. We now have to find an investor to buy our tax credits. In exchange for buying our LIHTCs, our investor will be able to claim $552,835 in federal tax credits per year for 10 years after the project is complete.
The value of LIHTCs to developers like us fluctuates. Investors try to predict over the 10 years that they will use our LIHTCs what may happen with the economy, how tax rates might change, how well the particular project might perform, and whether they can take advantage of other federal programs to enhance the benefits they will receive by being our investor. At the moment, we are projecting that the value of our recent LIHTC award will be 86 or 87 cents on the dollar. This means that our award of $552,835 in LIHTCs could yield us something like $4.8 million in equity ($552,835 x 0.87 x 10 years) that we can use to pay for much of the renovation costs at Harvey Heights Ashland.
We usually enter into a limited partnership agreement with our LIHTC investor where they own 99.99% of the project and we own 0.01%. The partnership typically lasts 15 years. During this time, we bear the responsibility of ensuring that the property is in compliance with a myriad of federal regulations so that our investors can use the LIHTCs we promised them.
One of the biggest responsibilities is making sure that prospective tenants meet the income eligibility requirements. At the time they apply, their household income cannot be even $1 over the limits established by the federal government. If we make a mistake, it means our investor cannot use the LIHTCs and we have to pay the investor the amount they lost out on. We also have to make sure that the property is financially healthy. If not, our investor can require us to lend money to the property to fund any operating deficit.
It is difficult and costly to utilize the LIHTC program. However, it is the most significant source of funding available in New Hampshire to build affordable housing. We continue to work hard to make sure that the Lakes Region benefits from this powerful program.
If you want to read more details about the LIHTC program, this overview by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a good resource.
Ways to Give - Appreciated Securities
You have the power to change the lives of hundreds of families in the Lakes Region by supporting the work we do. You may be able to increase your charitable gift to Lakes Region Community Developers by giving in a new way.
If you are concerned about paying capital gains tax on stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that have appreciated in value, you could donate them to LRCD. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so we are not subject to capital gains tax. If you have owned the securities for at least one year, you can donate them directly to us without paying any capital gains tax. We can then liquidate the securities tax-free and use the proceeds to carry out our mission. Consult with your accountant or financial advisor to determine if donating securities is right for you.
Green Tip - America Recycles Day
As a NeighborWorks America Green Designated Organization we have incorporated green practices across all lines of business. As an organization it is important to us that we remain steadfast stewards of our precious resources and inspire our neighbors to see the value and ease of incorporating green practices into their lives. We hope you enjoy our monthly Green Tip.
November 15th is America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. In celebration of America Recycles Day please Reduce, Reuse, and RECYCLE! Below is a fun infographic to remind you what to recycle and what it becomes when you do. Happy recycling!