LACONIA – Construction began Thursday on Laconia Housing’s new Sunrise House project, a 16-unit apartment building that will provide affordable, supportive housing for people with disabilities who are 62 years of age or older.
The new apartments will transform a vacant downtown office building at 423 South Main St. – next to Laconia Housing’s Sunrise Towers. The units are scheduled to be ready for occupancy by August 2019. Richard Weaver, Laconia Housing’s executive director, said he expects the 14 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom units to rent quickly given the demand for supported senior housing in the region, and that they are compiling a waiting list for Sunrise House.
Included in the rent for the new apartments are heat, hot water, electricity, and air conditioning. Laconia Housing will provide lunch and dinner daily. The units will have a small kitchen and double-sized, roll-in showers to accommodate wheelchairs; an elevator will make all floors accessible.
Sunrise House is within walking distance to restaurants and shops in downtown Laconia. Staff will also coordinate social activities for residents. “Socialization is very important for this population,” said Weaver. “They can become very isolated. Someone will see you every day at Sunrise House.”
The acquisition of the former office building and property – and its conversion to supportive housing apartments – received $1.8 million in financing from New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority sourced from the federal Housing Trust Fund and state Affordable Housing Fund. It also received a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston ($500,000). Additionally, Bank of New Hampshire provided an $875,000 amortizing loan and the Laconia Housing Local Programs contributed $250,000.
“The programs that Laconia Housing Authority offer are vital to our community and we are proud to provide financing to support the mission and vision of their future,” said Paul Falvey, president & CEO for Bank of New Hampshire.
Twelve of the units will be rented to very-low-income seniors 62 or older who meet federal income requirements and who can continue to live independently if they get with daily living activities such as grooming, meals, medication management and transportation.
Residents in these units will pay rent equal to 30 percent of their income. Medicaid’s Choices for Independence, available to only those who qualify for Medicaid, will cover the cost of supportive services.
The remaining four units, which will also be available to moderate income seniors age 62 or older, will be rented at market rates of $822 a month for one-bedrooms and $1,065 for two-bedrooms. Residents in these units must also require assistance with daily living activities. The service package will be affordably tailored to their specific needs.
Laconia Housing is able to make this project work in large part because Sunrise House abuts its Sunrise Towers, a 98-unit building for elderly and disabled residents who are also receiving supportive services. Sunrise Tower’s commercial kitchen and onsite services coordinators will also service Sunrise House.
For more information or to join the waiting list for Sunrise House, contact Laconia Housing at 603-524-2112.
– Staff Report