Dental Funds Needed!
Our Dental Program provides matching payments to dental providers to help our adult tenants access the dental care they need.
We are almost out of money in our dental fund! All donations made to LRCD during the months of August and September will go into our dental fund. Please tell your friends!
Click HERE to help us replenish this fund.
We launched our Dental Program in October 2020, after learning through a survey that 70% of our adult tenants were not accessing dental care due to lack of insurance and inability to pay. The vast majority of our tenants have household incomes below 50% of area median income. Although most indicated they had health insurance, very few had dental insurance. Those on Medicaid who now have a dental benefit struggle to find dentists who accept Medicaid. This leaves even routine dental care out of financial reach for most of our tenants.
Patty is a tenant at LRCD's Pinecrest Apartments in Meredith and she serves on LRCD's Board of Directors. Patty, whose teeth never came in right as a child, shares, “by the time my birthday rolls around, I will actually, for the first time in my entire life, have a smile I will be proud of. And LRCD is helping to make that happen for me.”
Addressing Homelessness with Supportive Housing
Supportive housing combines permanent affordable housing with supportive services for people with extremely low incomes who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.
According to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, “Study after study has shown that supportive housing not only resolves homelessness and increases housing stability, but also improves health and lowers public costs by reducing the use of publicly-funded crisis services, including shelters, hospitals, psychiatric centers, jails, and prisons.”
There is very little supportive housing in the Lakes Region. We hope to change that with Bay Street Apartments in Laconia. The project would clean up the lot at 17-19 Bay Street, where a fire destroyed the primary structure in February 2022.
We hope to construct a building with 12 small efficiency apartments for individuals with less than $20,000 in annual income who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Lakes Region Mental Health Center (LRMHC) would provide the supportive services. In fact, they would be the primary means of marketing the available units because about 100 of their existing clients lack stable housing.
The Laconia Planning Board tabled our site plan last month because they are concerned about parking – you can read about that here. Most of the people who would live at Bay Street Apartments do not own vehicles due to lack of income. We are hopeful that the parking issue can be resolved so this project can move forward.
Parking Over Housing
Did you know there are six parking spaces in the US for every one car?
Check out this piece from NPR that talks about how Americans have sacrificed affordable housing and livable communities for parking that we don’t need.
LRCD's Housing Pipeline
It is a difficult environment out there for affordable housing. While inflation seems to be slowing down, construction is booming here in New Hampshire so building costs are still very high. Another challenge is getting land use approvals for projects. Despite the increasing awareness of the housing crisis, local land use ordinances and processes have not been streamlined to make it easier to build the housing that we need.
Despite these barriers, we are hard at work on the following projects, in addition to our supportive housing project on Bay Street in Laconia:
Harriman Hill Phase III, Wolfeboro: This project will complete the Harriman Hill development that we started building back in 2012. The first two phases contain a total of 48 apartments serving households below 60% of area median income.
Phase III will contain 30 apartments in a mix of unit sizes and will serve a wider mix of income levels.
We have Zoning Board approval, and we are awaiting the Planning Board’s decision on our site plan application. We have submitted our applications for funding.
Village at Mill Pond, Ashland: This project is on a fairly large site behind the town’s recreation fields, just off I-93 as you head into Ashland. The concept is still being finalized with the town, but we hope the project will contain at least 70 apartments. Over the next few months, we will be seeking land use approvals. Once we obtain those, we can get the project in the queue for funding.
Ever wonder what goes into developing affordable housing?
It is a long process from choosing a site, to designing the buildings, obtaining permitting, and acquiring funding. There’s a lot to do before a shovel hits the ground!
We invite you to watch the next video in our five-part series where Sal Steven-Hubbard, LRCD’s Director of Real Estate Development, explains the process and talks about why LRCD needs community support to develop more housing.
Gale School Update
We got updated cost estimates this winter, which caused us to have to seek additional funding to move forward. We continue work to restore this beloved historic school building in Belmont so that it can serve as the home of a new childcare center operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH and a new program center for Lakes Region Community Services.
We hope to have enough funds to go out to bid in early 2024. Thank you to all the donors and funders who have contributed to this effort so far!