Published DateLACONIA — Bank of New Hampshire is supporting the Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT) with a $150,000 donation towards the Avery Hill capital infusion project.
Fifteen years ago, LACLT was invited by homeowners of Avery Hill who wished to improve the neighborhood to undertake a project there. Working with neighbors over a series of months, they identified a plan to acquire and demolish six tenement buildings to be replaced with four newly constructed duplexes and to acquire and rehab three duplexes, a significant 1.4 million dollar revitalization project.
The City of Laconia assisted by creating a special Overlay District Ordinance that would allow the project to proceed, engaged in a land swap with LACLT to satisfy some federal requirements and sponsored a
Community Development Block Grant application for $500,000.
Prior to this project, LACLT had completed the rehabilitation of small scale scattered site duplexes. This represented its first large project and first neighborhood revitalization. LACLTsecured competitively awarded funding for the project including Low Income Housing Tax Credits and HOME funds administered by the NH Housing Finance Authority, a Community Development Block Grant sponsored by the City of Laconia and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. LACLT and Laconia Housing Authority also made capital contributions.
Avery Hill represented one of the earliest Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects in the state. LACLT was awarded these federal credits and sold them to Village Bank & Trust and Bank of Gilford. The proceeds from the sale provided equity to the project. In order to utilize this IRS program, a Limited Partnership was formed to provide ownership of the project for the first 15 years of its service. Linda Harvey, Executive Director for LACLT credits those two local, mutual banks for their hearty support of the project and being trail blazers in the state in utilizing the unfamiliar and highly complex federal tax credit instruments. LACLT purchased the land and leased the buildings to the Limited Partnership.
Avery Hill has been a safe, well managed place to call home for hundreds of individuals in the 14 three-bedroom units. Now that the Limited Partnership is expiring, full ownership of the project reverts to LACLT.
The aging project requires a capital infusion in order to strengthen its physical and fiscal performance and to position it for success for the next 15 years. A portfolio strengthening plan was developed to improve the property by reducing expenses through green investments, preserving the asset through capital investments, increasing marketability and achieving an economy of scale through the new ownership structure.
The gift of $150,000 from Bank of New Hampshire will be used to position the property for success. "LACLT could not be more grateful to Bank of New Hampshire," stated Linda Harvey, Executive Director for LACLT. "They have been one of our strongest supporters since the earliest days. We are thrilled with this very generous gift. Their $150,000 leveraged another $180,000 from NeighborWorks America, bringing a total of $330,000 to capitalize the portfolio.We are grateful for their 20 year partnership and for their continued investment in these community assets."
Photo Caption (L-R):
Peter Stewart, Board Chair for Laconia Area Community Land Trust; Mark Primeau, President & CEO for Bank of New Hampshire; Linda Harvey, Executive Director for Laconia Area Community Land Trust.