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Affordable housing renovation project seeking federal funds


July 19, 2018
MEREDITH — The town will apply for a federal grant on behalf of Lakes Region Community Developers, who plans to rehabilitate an affordable housing complex.

Lakes Region Community Developers will undertake a project to renovate 25 units of affordable housing apartments at Harvey Heights known as Deer Run Apartments on Pleasant Street. They are aiming to do some significant upgrades to the complex, including siding, roofing, interior upgrades, improved handicap access, a meeting room for tenants, redoing the playgrounds, resurfacing the parking lot, energy efficiency, more. Work in the individual units will include life safety upgrades as well as upgrades to flooring and kitchens.

Lakes Region Community Developers through the town is seeking a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 for the project. The grant will be administered through the town and will be passed to Lakes Region Community Developers minus administrative costs for the town.

On Monday Community Development Director John Edgar was joined by Kara LaSalle, Real Estate Development Project Manager for Lakes Region Community Developers, and Donna Lane, CDBG Grant Administrator.

The selectmen held three separate public hearings required for the CDBG process, including the grant application itself, readopting the Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan is especially and a third to readopt the town's Housing Community Development Plan.

Lane said the loan is forgivable and with other funding sources it will probably zero out. The funds will be requested from the loan as the project progresses.

Edgar said Lakes Region Community Developers will sign a formal contract with the town that outlines LRCD's responsibilities on this project and not hold the town liable for any issues that arise.

The Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan is especially relevant to this project as residents will be displaced for a time with this project.

Under the plan residents will be relocated to a vacant unit on the property. LaSalle said they plan to keep some units vacant for the purpose of temporarily relocating residents. If a unit on the property isn't available then residents will be put in another LRCD property, modular units, or a hotel.

LaSalle said they are aiming to do the project in blocks of four units at a time with the project estimated to take a year to complete.

All three public heatings were held and the board voted unanimously in favor of adopting all three.

"I think this is a great project for Meredith," said selectman Jeanie Forrester. "I've been to Deer Run; I've seen those apartments. I appreciate that this is getting done."

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