Letter from the Director
Happy New Year! I love January. It is the perfect moment to reflect back on the past year, and at the same time look forward to everything the new year has in store.
I am so proud of what we accomplished in 2018:
These initiatives are core to our mission of providing healthy housing.
This year, we will undertake several exciting projects that are completely new to LRCD:
As we face these new opportunities, we are grateful for the partnership and support of so many wonderful organizations, businesses, and individuals throughout the Lakes Region. We could not do this work without you. Thank you!
Best wishes in 2019,
Carmen R. Lorentz
2019 State Legislative Outlook
As the 2019 legislative session kicks off, we are keeping an eye on two legislative service requests (LSRs) that have been filed in the New Hampshire Senate.
The first is to make an appropriation to the state’s affordable housing fund. While this fund has existed for many years, the legislature has not always made an appropriation to it. Last year, the legislature appropriated $2.5 million to the fund, but restricted it for building transitional housing for people coming out of residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder or mental illness. As New Hampshire’s housing crisis intensifies, a more significant appropriation with no restrictions will be critical to ensure that we have the resources and the flexibility for communities to build what they need, whether that is affordable starter homes or apartments that are affordable to a region’s workforce.
The second LSR that we are watching would make an appropriation to the NH Department of Health and Human Services for homeless services expansion. You may have seen the recent report from the NH Coalition to End Homelessness documenting changes in homelessness in NH from 2016 to 2018. The report shows that homelessness statewide increased 10% from 2016 to 2018. In Belknap County, however, homelessness increased a whopping 118% (46 more people were homeless in 2018 than in 2016). The data for Belknap County reflect increases in every category of homelessness: chronic, family, veteran, unsheltered, and temporarily doubled-up.
Homelessness is a highly complex issue. As a landlord with 365 apartments in the Lakes Region, we see untreated substance use disorder and mental illness as major contributing factors. We will be watching this LSR with hopes that more resources will be available in the future to address this increase in homelessness in our region.
4th Annual Putt Putt - Save the Date!
Our last Putt Putt Tournament was so much fun we couldn't wait an entire year to do it again. Mark your calendars as busy on June 21st from 4pm to 7pm for the 4th Annual Putt Putt Tournament!
For sponsorship opportunities or to sign up your team contact Caitlin Meaney at email@example.com or 603.524.07474 ext. 108.
Building Community - Laconia
Before the holidays, the residents of River's Edge Apartments in Laconia were serenaded by the Holy Trinity Catholic School Choir.
Ways to Give - Charitable Bequest
If you are interested in making a gift with lasting impact without giving up assets during your lifetime, consider including a charitable gift, also known as a bequest, in your will. A bequest can be of any size—you can specify a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. Your bequest can be unrestricted, meaning it will support our most vital needs or priorities at the time it is received, or you may direct your gift to a specific program at LRCD. Consult with your estate planner to decide if a charitable bequest is right for you.
If you want to make a gift to Lakes Region Community Developers in any of these ways, please contact Carmen Lorentz at (603) 524-0747 ext. 110 or CLorentz@LRcommunitydevelopers.org. Thank you.
Green Tip - Today's Recycling
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.
2018 was a dramatic year for the recycling market. Communities whose recycling programs had been a consistent source of revenue are now costing them. It’s a cost that is forcing some recycling centers to discontinue the recycling of some items, such as glass and plastics #3-#7, to stay in the black.
This major shift is driven in large part by China’s increasingly strict criteria for the quality of imported recycled material. Beginning in early 2018, the Chinese government began what it called the “National Sword Policy,” an environmental initiative which, among other things, banned various plastics and set rigorous limits on acceptable levels of food and other waste contamination. China had been taking half of the world’s paper and plastic when it called a halt to the imports, tightening the contamination limit to 0.5 percent for most imports. That's an unattainable standard at U.S. single-stream recycling processing plants designed to churn out bales of paper or plastic that are, at best, 97 percent free of contaminants such as foam cups and food waste.
Here are some tips can you do to help your communities recycling program: