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April 21. 2014 11:05PM

AHEAD program hits $50K mark for housing initiative

LITTLETON — AHEAD, a social services agency that has worked for more than 20 years to provide North Country families with affordable housing, has reached the $50,000 mark in fundraising efforts for its new “Better Homes AHEAD” housing initiative, its executive director said.

The agency is set to disburse half that amount in seed money for the project. Its goal is to provide high-quality, energy efficient, factory-built homes at affordable prices for low- and moderate-income households.

The initiative would allow North Country residents to replace older, inefficient, and often unsafe mobile homes with newer, safer, more efficient places to live.

The “founders fund” effort is named for David Wood, AHEAD’s longtime executive director, according to current executive director Michael Claflin.

“The Founders Fund honors David’s commitment to safe and affordable housing in our region, and his innovation and tenacity in leading AHEAD for 22 years,” Claflin said in a news release. “The Founders Fund allows AHEAD to continue looking forward and to further David’s vision.”

AHEAD is working with manufacturers to develop a range of home designs, all of which will meet or exceed industry standards.

The initial focus area of Better Homes AHEAD will be New Hampshire and eastern Vermont, with plans to expand further into Vermont and to Maine in the future, according to Claflin.

“We’re pleased the Founders Fund has garnered such strong support in its first year, and we hope to continue to build the (fund) and develop additional ventures that meet our mission of providing affordable rental housing, financial education, and home ownership opportunities in the North Country,” Claflin said in the release.

AHEAD has worked for more than two decades to provide thousands of families and individuals with affordable rental apartments, has assisted families in purchasing their first home, and offered successful financial coaching and foreclosure mitigation services, Claflin said.

He added that the agency also owns and operates 14 North Country properties with more than 300 affordable apartments for families and seniors.

For more information about AHEAD, visit www.homesahead.org; or call (603)-444-1377.


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