(Concord, NH) The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) has approved Community Development Block Grant awards to eight New Hampshire municipalities and counties totaling nearly $3.1 million. The funds will go toward projects developing affordable housing, public works, and upgrading failing infrastructure which benefit nearly 2,600 low- and moderate-income residents in the Granite State.
“These CDBG awards are granted to towns and counties in every part of the state. These are the projects that community leaders say are needed to help their residents who are of low- and moderate-income,” said CDFA Communications Director Kevin Flynn. “Much of the needed work addresses the high energy costs associated with operating these facilities. Those expenditures are increasingly making the properties too expensive to operate or diverting precious resources from other services the nonprofits provide.”
Projects approved by CDFA’s Community Development Advisory Board are:
- A grant of $500,000 to Hillsborough County for The Granite YMCA’s plan to build a Center for Youth and Teen Leadership addition to their facility in Goffstown. The new, approximately 4,112 square foot addition will provide after school services for about 1,300 area children, the majority of who come from families earning low-or-moderate income.
- The City of Berlin will receive $500,000 in CDBG funds on behalf of Affordable Housing, Education and Development, Inc. (AHEAD) for energy improvements at Northern Lights Senior Housing. The scope of work includes installing a new wood pellet boiler, replacing one section of roofing, energy efficiency improvements, and fire alarm upgrades for the 63 unit facility.
- A $255,000 grant to the City of Keene on behalf of Keene Housing Authority for the rehabilitation of the men’s emergency shelter, which served 108 people last year. The proposed improvements include upgrades to electrical and fire alarm systems, a new roof, and general carpentry and plumbing repairs throughout the facility.
- On behalf of the Somersworth Housing Authority, a $500,000 grant to the City of Somersworth to implement energy improvements at the Albert J. Nadeau Homes affordable housing development. Among the work will be the implementation of natural gas heat and hot water boilers as well as new baseboard heating. Without the upgrades, energy costs will eventually make the 17-unit property too expensive to maintain.
- Merrimack County will receive $300,000 on behalf of Second Start to replace the roof and make masonry repairs on their main building in Concord. CDBG funds will be used to replace the leaky roof, make mortar repairs to the exterior façade, complete some exterior painting, and add some insulation to the building that provides services such as adult education, transitional employment training, and a drug and alcohol prevention program for teens.
- To make energy repairs to the Old Graded School Building, the Town of Warner will receive at $20,600 grant. The repurposed building houses several community programs including a food pantry, Head Start, and a pre-school. Annual energy costs for the facility exceed $15,000 and planned upgrades will help reduce overhead.
- The proposed Suncook Senior Center will receive $500,000 through a grant to the Town of Allenstown. The center, to be run by the Belknap-Merrimack Community Action Program, will be an addition on to the soon-to-be-built Suncook Boys & Girls Club. The project will allow for Meals on Wheels operations and a handicapped accessible wellness facility for local seniors.
- A $478,880 grant to the Town of Tilton on behalf of the Gaslight Village Cooperative to replace existing septic systems by connecting to the municipal wastewater system. Additional work will be conducted to improve drainage to the manufactured home park. The project will also demolish a dilapidated building on site which poses a health and safety hazard to residents.
Announcement of the block grants were met with praise from several State Senators who represent the awarded communities.
“I continue to be impressed with the Granite YMCA and am pleased to learn that the Goffstown branch will receive a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority that will allow them to construct a much needed addition to the facility,” said Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester). “I am supportive of anything that enhances opportunity for the state’s young people and by expanding the facility, the YMCA will be able to create the Center for Youth and Teen Leadership that provides programs for youth and teens outside of school for the towns of Goffstown, Weare, Hillsborough, Bedford, New Boston and Mont Vernon.“
"The Northern Lights is an important part of Berlin's past, present and future. These energy improvements help it move forward and make our community stronger and better. I commend everyone who made this grant possible," said Senator Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton).
“The men’s shelter owned by the Keene Housing Authority and operated by Southwestern Community Services has been a place where so many low-income and homeless men have found respite in past years. Due to the heavy traffic the shelter endures, it is in need of some major renovations inside and out that will not only modernize the building, but reduce operating expenses,” said Senator Molly Kelly (D-Keene). “I am thankful that the shelter has been chosen to receive a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority in New Hampshire to make these improvements and know that this will have a significant and positive effect on the entire Keene community overall.”
“This grant will ensure reliable heat for Albert J. Nadeau Homes residents and it sustains the Somersworth Housing Authority's commitment to affordable housing in the city,” said Senator David Watters (D-Dover). “It is a shared investment in the community, and I commend the Somersworth Housing Authority and city officials for their successful efforts."
“The Belknap-Merrimack Counties Community Action Program is the deserving recipient of a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority to be used to build a new facility that will be occupied by the Boys and Girls Club as well as the senior center, which provides a number of important services to the area’s elderly,” Senator John Reagan (R- Deerfield) said. “I am glad to see the CDFA’s support in establishing a permanent home for senior services that include Meals on Wheels, community dining, educational, recreational, and wellness programs among others, which will play an essential role in increasing accessibility for many seniors who are unable to drive to the many varied and often changing locations.”
“I am thrilled to see Concord’s Second Start program be awarded with a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority to make structural improvements on the facility,” said Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord). “The organization plays an important role in expanding economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through the various job training opportunities they provide.”
Senator Feltes, who also represents Warner, said, “For many in Warner, especially low-to-middle income families, the opportunity to live a better life goes through the Old Graded School. In awarding these funds, the CDFA plays an important role in reducing energy costs and helping to ensure the continued operation of many programs and services at the Old Graded School that are vital to expanding opportunity in the Warner community.”
“I am proud to say that this community was awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the Community Development Finance Authority,” said Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith). “This grant will allow the Gas Light Village to make many necessary infrastructure improvements, including connecting to the municipal sewer system and demolishing an unsafe structure. The CDFA is a great resource that provides the means for improvements that would otherwise go unresolved and I am thankful that they have extended their support to the Gas Light Village Cooperative in the Town of Tilton.”
The grants await final approval from the Executive Council.
The CDBG program funds provide housing and create jobs primarily for low- and moderate-income people. Funds are provided to the state of New Hampshire by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and administered by CDFA. Each project is evaluated on several criteria, including impact on low- and moderate-income residents and the acquisition of matching funding.
CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. CDFA, created by the Legislature in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire. CDFA administers nearly $20 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Energy Reduction Funds. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit www.nhcdfa.org or call 603-226-2170.
CDFA will be conducting application writing workshops for the CDBG Microenterprise Program.