Housing authority will use block grant to plan improvements to Stafford House

LACONIA — The Laconia Housing Authority (LHA) has been awarded two Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) planning grants by the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) in Concord totaling $24,000.

The first planning grant is to be used to examine the physical needs of the Stafford House, a 50 unit residential development at the corner of Church and Main Streets in downtown Laconia.

The CDBG funds, in conjunction with matching funds from LHA, will be used to perform an energy audit of the building and prepare a capital needs assessment of all of the other building systems. The results of the study will be used to prepare a CDBG implementation grant application to fund the building improvements. The new application for funding will likely be submitted to the CDFA in January of 2014. The planning study will be performed by the Resilient Buildings Group, a subsidiary of the Jordan Institute, from Concord.

The second planning grant will be used to analyze the space needs at the central office of the Laconia Housing Authority at 25 Union Avenue. The study, to be performed by the Laconia firm of Misiaszek Turpin, will examine the current office needs of LHA staff and make recommendations for the appropriate amount of office space and the optimal layout. Consideration will be given to utilizing the existing office space as well as other alternatives in the downtown area.

Laconia Housing Authority owns 311 units of service enriched housing for seniors and families in the greater Laconia area as well as administering 407 housing rent subsidies through the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.