TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® awarded the Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT) a $10,000 contribution to support its affordable housing development.
“We believe that organizations such as LACLT’s play a significant role in sustaining vibrant and thriving communities,” said Steve Webb, Market President for TD Bank. “The TD Charitable Foundation carries a legacy of supporting not-for-profit institutions and their important work throughout our region and Laconia Area Community Land Trust is a true partner in this work.”
The goal of LACLT’s Housing Development Program is to increase the supply of high-quality, permanently affordable housing available to the Laconia community and surrounding towns. LACLT’s apartments are rented to low- and moderate-income families at below market rents. LACLT apartments are currently home to 535 adults and children; over 2,500 people have been housed to date.
Laconia Area Community Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a member of NeighborWorks® America, and is supported in part by membership donations and the Lakes Region United Way. Its mission is to assist low and moderate income families achieve economic self-sufficiency through the development of permanently affordable housing opportunities and associated support programs. For more information about LACLT and its programs, call 603-524-0747, or visit www.laclt.org.
A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.
About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation's mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $159.8 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com.
Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT) recently completed a 65 unit preservation project purchasing 40 units in Ashland and 25 units in Meredith. Originally developed with Rural Development USDA financing, the affordability for the Meredith units was due to expire now and the Ashland units in a few years. By creatively consolidating the two properties, LACLT was able to save the imminently expiring 25 units as well as preserve the other 40 units as permanently affordable.
The housing was originally developed by the late Dave Hodges Sr. of the Hodges Companies. The company wanted to honor his legacy and commitment to affordable housing and approached LACLT to do so. LACLT was among the first in the nation to work with Rural Development to creatively purchase, refinance, and renew the subsidy and affordability of these expiring projects. “We’re grateful to the Hodges Companies who could have easily put them on the market and sold to the highest bidder- and to Rural Development who went the extra mile to make this successful” said LACLT founding Executive Director Linda Harvey.
In honor of Harvey the properties have been renamed Harvey Heights. She states, “Saving decent affordable housing means saving a critical community asset. I was very surprised and honored to learn that the LACLT staff and Board chose this name for the properties. Affordable housing is an integral part of any community’s healthy housing mix, ensuring diversity, opportunity, and a labor force for essential community services.”
LACLT will seek financing for rehab and upgrades to the 65 units. Upgrades will include new energy efficient heating systems, replacement of windows to improve building envelope, replacement of roofs, on-site recycling, and many others.
Laconia, NH – Carmen Lorentz will be the new Executive Director of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust starting in January. Lorentz will succeed founding Executive Director, Linda Harvey, who is retiring in May after 24 years.
A Lakes Region native and resident of Belmont, Lorentz is currently serving as Director of the Division of Economic Development at the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development. She was appointed by Governor Hassan in 2014, and was responsible for the division’s first-ever strategic plan, which resulted in new marketing initiatives for the state and new economic development services being offered to local communities and organizations. Prior to serving at the state level, Lorentz was Executive Director of the Belknap Economic Development Council.
“I am excited to contribute my skills and experience to the Land Trust’s mission of providing high-quality, permanently affordable housing in the Lakes Region," said Lorentz. "Affordable housing is an essential element of both community and workforce development, fields in which I have a lot of experience and about which I am truly passionate."
Lorentz and Harvey will work together for the first few months to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. “We are thrilled to welcome Carmen on board,” said Jason Hicks, Chair of the Land Trust’s Board of Directors. “And we are grateful to Linda for her continued service during the transition. We have all the right pieces in place for success in our first-ever transition to a new Executive Director.”
Linda Harvey of Laconia Area Community Land Trust has announced her upcoming retirement in May. Harvey, the founding Executive Director of LACLT, has been with the organization over 23 years and moved it from a fledgling start-up to an organization of tremendous success and impact.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of this wonderful organization, and I’m so happy with all the great things we’ve accomplished. I’m excited for the next leader to take this terrific organization to even higher levels of achievement.”
LACLT Board Chair Jason Hicks notes, “On behalf of the LACLT Board, we are extremely grateful to Linda for her remarkable service. As a sole employee starting with a borrowed folding chair, she grew the organization into a nationally recognized success story. Linda engaged local communities to recognize a need for affordable housing for its citizens and helped them provide it. She developed a vast network of committed stakeholders to create permanently affordable community assets. She assembled a team of highly skilled staff to provide programs of excellence and impact to thousands of Lakes Region residents. Under her leadership, LACLT has invested 87 million dollars into the community to build neighborhoods and change lives. We will be forever mindful and proud of her achievements and stewardship. It is with mixed emotions that wish her well in her future endeavors, and we transition to new leadership.”
Hicks and Harvey explain, “We’ve long had sound Succession Plans in place to cover planned and unplanned absences. So it is easy for the organization to draw from these plans in moving ahead.” The Board’s Transition Team is in place and has been working with a consultant to provide an effective transition process.
Since Harvey began, the organization has developed 277 units of permanently affordable housing. Another 89 units in three towns are in the immediate pipeline. 1000s of Lakes Region residents have participated in LACLT’s free financial literacy and homebuyer education services.
Last month LACLT celebrated the completion of the River’s Edge project in Laconia, converting a site comprised formerly of contaminated soil and blight into 32 units of permanently affordable housing. Linda and LACLT have won dozens of awards over the years, including the Lakes Region Chamber’s Irwin Award, Business NH Magazine’s Business of the Decade, Citizen’s Bank Community Champion, Lakes Region Visionary Award, Lakes Region Community Leadership Award, and many awards for excellence in nonprofit management. Linda was named one of NH Magazine’s Remarkable Women, Zonta’s Woman of Achievement, and one of the Lakes Region’s 100 Legendary Locals in Ray Carbone’s book of the same name, among many honors.
“I’m looking forward to focusing on my health, having more time with family and friends, and supporting the Land Trust in new ways. It’s an exciting time for me and for the Land Trust.”
On August 19th, 2016 the Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT) celebrated the completion of River’s Edge with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.
Jason Hicks, LACLT Board Chair, welcomed a packed room of 100+ LACLT members and supporters. He thanked all the people and organizations that made this project possible and called it LACLT’s “crowning achievement.”
Mayor Ed Engler was on hand to share the distant and recent history of the site. After a private developer abandoned plans to redevelop the site, the Planning Department turned to LACLT. Engler spoke on behalf of the city, saying for 20 years, a procession of mayors, councilors, and administrators have viewed the Land Trust as “an extremely valuable partner” who has a “glorious history of turning something that wasn’t into something that is.”
In 2004 LACLT re-developed the old Vernitron factory across the street from River’s Edge. Millview, an apartment complex of 18 units, was re-developed at the request of the city and also required the removal of highly contaminated soil.
Dean Christon, Executive Director of New Hampshire Housing, touted River’s Edge as “a special project” that re-purposed a hazardous vacant space and added to the affordable housing stock. He stated that “this has been a very challenging project that required creativity and tenacity.”
Paul Weech, Chief Executive Officer of NeighborWorks® America, a congressionally chartered non-profit corporation that supports 247 organization like LACLT throughout the country, said that LACLT “stands out amongst the 247.”
Last to speak, but certainly one of the most memorable, was Erin Weller from the LACLT Board of Directors. Erin came to LACLT as a working but homeless single mother. She entered LACLT’s Transitional Housing Program and upon successfully graduating from the program, she moved into one of LACLT’s permanently affordable units. She then took financial literacy and homebuyer education programs offered by LACLT. Today, she is currently under contract for her first home! After a large applause Erin stated, “If someone had asked me five years ago what would happen if I applied to be homeowner, I would have told them I didn’t have a chance. But because of the Land Trust, I am almost there.” Weller welcomed the new River’s Edge tenants to the LACLT family and urged them to take advantage of what LACLT has to offer.
River’s Edge includes 32 fully accessible apartments; 12 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units, leased at permanently affordable rents. The building includes a community day care facility for infants aged between six-weeks and 18 months that will be run by Lakes Region Community Child Care. The building also includes our HOMEteam office and classroom that will be used for homeownership and financial literacy classes and one-on-one counseling.
The three-story building overlooks the Winnipesaukee River just above the Avery Dam, offering views of the Busiel Mill and Belknap Mill and adds 700 feet to the downtown river walk.
The building is within walking distance of downtown restaurants, stores, schools, churches, the hospital, a grocery store, and more. “The property illustrates so much of what we talk about with community development,” said Weech. “It’s not just creating a home, but a home that is connected to amenities. A home that is safe and secure and part of the bigger community.”
To close the ceremony some key people were recognized and given a token of appreciation. The project Visionary Award was presented to the Hickey family in honor of George Hickey. He was a great friend and architect to LACLT for over 20 years. George designed River’s Edge and passed away suddenly before he could see his design become a reality.
Project Heros include Jim Menihane, Rob Dapice and Shaun Malone of New Hampshire Housing; Jonathan Smith of Warren Street Architects; Chip Elliott of Eckman Construction; Kevin Leonard of Northpoint Engineering; and Courtney Moore of TLCM Environmental Engineering.
The Good Neighbor Award was given to Joseph Gonzalez who was a supporter of the project since the beginning.
Funding partners for River’s Edge are: New Hampshire Housing, Raymond James, NeighborWorks America, Rural LISC, Community Development Finance Authority, Belknap County, City of Laconia, and Laconia Area Community Land Trust.
If you are or someone you know is interested in renting, contact Danielle Maslbas of The Hodges Companies at (800) 724-4686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meredith Village Savings Bank, Franklin Savings Bank, Mainstay Technologies, and EPTAM Plastics have been longtime supporters of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT). They recently continued their support with a combined purchase of $37,500 in state tax credits issued by NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA).
Melissa Mansfield of Franklin Savings Bank states the Bank “is proud to be a sponsor of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust through the purchase of Housing Futures Fund Tax Credits. Supporting the mission and initiatives of the Land Trust through tax credits is a win-win for both the businesses and the communities of the Lakes Region. Franklin Savings Bank is honored to play a role in achieving the Land Trust’s mission of assisting low to moderate income families achieve economic self-sufficiency through the development of permanent affordable housing opportunities.”
LACLT is grateful for this donation supporting LACLT’s efforts in the River’s Edge project in downtown Laconia, providing 32 permanently affordable and fully accessible units for persons of modest means. This redevelopment of an abandoned industrial site brings new life to the downtown and significantly increases the tax base. The property is tremendously improved with the hazardous waste mitigation, green design elements, and the public river walk that will connect to the WOW trails.
Photo: Housing Futures Fund Tax Credit Donors (L to R): Ryan Barton of Mainstay Technologies, Jeffery Savage and Melissa Mansfield of Franklin Savings Bank, and Jason Hicks of Meredith Village Savings Bank stand in front of LACLT’s current project – River’s Edge (EPTAM Plastics not pictured).
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