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November 11. 2013 8:55PM

Grafton County eyes replacing old mobile homes

HAVERHILL — A $200,000 housing grant for Grafton County residents to replace substandard, pre-1976 mobile homes tops the list of $1.8 million in grants throughout the state in the latest round New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority block grants.

The mobile home pilot project aims to bring in new high-performance manufactured homes that meet Energy Star standards to replace the old units.

The funds can also go toward subsidizing site work and making other improvements, as well as capitalizing a zero-interest loan fund to help homeowners pay for the upgrades.

Overall, the New Hampshire grants are intended to spur the development of affordable housing, upgrade failing infrastructure and introduce innovative programs to help low- and moderate-income Granite State residents, according to Kevin Flynn, CDFA's director of communications.

"With these grants, these communities and their nonprofit partners are addressing some of the most urgent needs of low- and moderate-income residents.

"Affordable, dignified housing is key to the state's blue-collar workforce. And the lack of accessible childcare is a barrier for many parents who want to enter the workforce," Flynn said.

The projects — which require final approval from the governor's Executive Council — are expected to benefit 875 people, he added.

The other projects approved by CDFA's Community Development Advisory Board are:

In Concord, a $200,000 public facilities grant on behalf of The Children's Place, a nonprofit child-care facility. The center's facility needs upgrades to address health and safety issues. The grant will be used to upgrade bathrooms, replace the roof and floor in the child-care area and improve the playground area. Concord will also receive a $190,000 public facilities grant to install sprinklers at the Head Start facility.

Belknap County will receive $250,000 on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region. The grant will go toward acquiring the St. James Church to convert the building into a new clubhouse. The effort is expected to provide a permanent home for the Boys and Girls Club and assist in providing services to many more children of low- to moderate-income parents.

Hinsdale will get a $500,000 housing grant on behalf of the Oak Hill Acres Cooperative. The funds will go toward replacing failing drinking water and septic systems, and other infrastructure improvements for the 47 homes affected.

Exeter will receive a $500,000 housing grant on behalf of Avesta Housing to complete Phase 3 of the Meeting Place. That will allow development of 39 units of workforce housing and is part of what will be a 122-unit facility of affordable rental housing.

Funds are provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are administered by CDFA. Each project is evaluated on several criteria, including impact on low- and moderate-income residents and the acquisition of matching funding.

For more information about CDFA and its programs, go to nhcdfa.org; or call 226-2170.

bhookway@newstote.com


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