Our vision is a community where everyone has a healthy home and is empowered to succeed. I think we can all agree that there is much work to be done in order to achieve this lofty goal. As a new year begins, we are grateful for the many partners, businesses, and local residents who were part of our journey last year. Your support and engagement made our work possible.
We are excited for the challenges that 2020 will bring. On the real estate development side, we continue diversifying the types of projects we build to respond to changing needs in the community. In February, we will turn the keys of Compass House, our first supportive housing project, over to Horizons Counseling Center. This spring, we will work with Lakes Region Community Services to plan another supportive housing project.
Also in spring, we hope to break ground on our first development of affordable starter homes in Wolfeboro. We will wrap up our complete renovation of the 40-unit Ames Brook Apartments (aka, Ledgewood Estates) in Ashland by fall. And we will continue working throughout most of the year to assemble the financing needed to do a complete renovation at the 25-unit Harvey Heights (aka, Deer Run) in Meredith.
In addition to developing healthy and affordable homes for people who live and work here year-round, we are creating new programs that empower residents to succeed. Over the next few months, we will work with our pilot cohort of participants in an affordable car loan program to help overcome barriers to reliable transportation. We are creating and formalizing partnerships for a wraparound eviction prevention program to keep families stably housed during times of crisis. And we are crafting a dental assistance program to help very low-income residents afford restorative dental care, which is something that holds people back from pursing a better job or being more active in their community.
While we have laid out ambitious goals for 2020, we are bolstered by the knowledge that many of you in our community will respond to requests for advice, partnership, and funding. We cannot do this work without our community behind us. Thank you for your continued support.
Best wishes in 2020,
Carmen R. Lorentz
As the 2020 legislative session gets underway in New Hampshire, we are paying close attention to two bills that could have a big impact on housing and community development in the Lakes Region:
HB 1632: Among many things, this bill enables municipalities to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to encourage the development of workforce housing. TIF has only been used in NH for commercial development up to this point. The way TIF works is that towns and cities can establish TIF districts to capture future tax revenue from within the district and set it aside to pay the debt service on infrastructure for the district. If this bill becomes law, municipalities will be able to use TIF to finance construction of road, water, and sewer infrastructure for development of workforce housing, which could provide a powerful new tool to lower the cost of developing affordable housing.
HB 1224: This bill appropriates $850,000 per year for two years to the Lakeshore Redevelopment Planning Commission, which is the entity tasked with planning for the future redevelopment of the Laconia State School property. Over the past few years, the Commission has steadily worked its way through a variety of planning and environmental studies needed for redevelopment to occur. Funding is now needed to leverage grants to remediate hazardous materials in the buildings on the site and begin construction of infrastructure that will facilitate future redevelopment.
Compass House Ribbon Cutting
Join us Wednesday, February 5th at 1 pm to cut the ribbon and officially open the doors of Compass House. We can not wait to show you how we have transformed 658 Union Avenue in Laconia into a group home for women in recovery that will be operated by Horizons Counseling Center in partnership with Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region.
The event will offer light refreshments, tours, and a brief program featuring remarks by NH Housing Finance Authority, Horizons Counseling Center, and Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region.
RSVPs are required so please click here to reserve your spot. Parking is limited, parking instructions will be provided to you after you RSVP.
Belknap Landscape Helps Build Starter Homes
Belknap Landscape has generously pledged to purchase $10,000 of our CDFA tax credits to support our Harriman HIll Homes development in Wolfeboro. Harriman Hill Homes will be a development of 20 affordable starter homes for families who make between 75% and 120% of median income (roughly $52,000 to $83,000 for a family of four).
LRCD still needs to sell $94,000 in NH business tax credits by March 30, 2020 in order to build Harriman Hill Homes. If your business pays the NH Business Profits or Business Enterprise tax, you can direct a significant portion of your tax obligation to this project rather than sending it to Concord. Click here for more information.
Building Community - Ashland
The residents at Ames Brook in Ashland got together, spread some holiday cheer, and got a surprise visit from Santa!
Green Tip - Forest Fire Prevention
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.
We know it is an odd time of year to talk about forest fire prevention but with fires still burning in Australia we decided there is never a bad time.
Each year in the United State there are more than 100,000 wildfires that burn, on average, between four to five million acres of land. Wildfires can be caused by natural forces such as lighting, but more frequently they are caused by humans. Approximately four out of every five wildfires are started by humans. Below are some things we can do to help prevent wildfires: