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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.