Campton Mills Elderly Housing has been open for just over a month, and already has a waiting list. With a high demand for affordable senior housing, Southern New Hampshire Servicing is hoping to open apartments in Plymouth later this year. (Ashley Finethy) (click for larger version)
March 07, 2012CAMPTON — Southern New Hampshire Services (SNHS), a Hillsboro Community Action Program, has been working to provide affordable senior housing to low income seniors throughout the state of New Hampshire, and most recently in Grafton County.
"We have 25 buildings all around New Hampshire, and a shelter for women in Nashua and a shelter for men in Manchester," said manager Regina Buteau.
The organization's newest apartment building, in Campton, opened on Feb. 6 of this year, and all of the units are full or being filled within the next month or so. With so many inquiries, there is currently a wait list.
"We are full," said Buteau. "I am working on the final two applications, and we already have four people on our waiting list. We will be mailing out applications sometime this summer for our new Plymouth building."
The Plymouth senior living facility has seen construction already underway on Fairgrounds Road, where come next fall, it will be joining the Bristol, Ashland, and Campton facilities in providing affordable housing for seniors.
The Campton site has 16 one bedroom apartments that generally house individual people.
"Most of the tenants are single people," said Buteau. "Out of the 16 apartments here, we have one couple."
SNHS Management Corporation requires that interested tenants must be 62 years of age or older, and be in financial need of affordable housing.
"We are under the Very Low Income Guidelines of Grafton County," said Buteau.
The affordable senior housing project is based on tenants' income and subsidized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),meaning that rent would be 30 percent of a tenant's gross adjusted income.
"We take their income, which is usually Social Security, a pension or something like that, and we subtract out all allowable medical, which is anything out of pocket — Medicare that isn't covered by insurance, supplemental insurance, prescriptions out of pocket," said Buteau. "Once that is all taken out, that figure is the adjusted income. We take 30 percent, and that's their rent, which includes heat, hot water and electricity. So they pay their rent, they pay their security deposit, and if they want phone, cable or Internet, they need to pay that themselves."
Unlike regular apartments, Campton Mills Elderly Housing provides common areas for tenants to use that have computers with Internet access and televisions hooked up to cable, so no one necessarily has to go without.
"We do offer common areas. There is Internet access in the library, and a television with cable and a DVD player is available in the community room," said Buteau. "Also, the community room can be reserved for special events — pot lucks, holidays, parties, family reunions. We've even had a baby shower and a wedding shower here for family of one of the residents."
The community is also welcome to use the common rooms for monthly meetings or special events.
"We allow the public to come in and use our common rooms for monthly meetings," said Buteau. "The Ashland Women's Club comes in, the Scouts come in and do programs through the school. Service Link and social service agencies come in and do presentations, which is nice because some of our seniors don't have transportation, so it works really well when they have things coming into the building."
Since this is not an assisted living community, there isn't any assistance provided, but staff at Campton Mills Elderly Housing can point tenants in the right direction.
"Usually, if we feel that somebody needs assistance, we will do a referral, and would have them find services for what they need," Buteau explained. "This is not an assisted living facility, or an independent living facility. These are regular apartments for seniors."