Greener Homes Program improves Portsmouth housing

BEDFORD, N.H. – March 15, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — At its recent meeting, New Hampshire Housing’s Board of Directors approved the commitment of nearly $7.5 million in tax-exempt bonds, federal HOME Investment Partnership funds and Greener Home Program funds to refinance and renovate Wamesit Apartments, an aging housing development that is integral to the community of Portsmouth. In total, 100 affordable rental units will be preserved and improved.

New Hampshire Housing is able to provide energy efficiency upgrades to affordable multi-family rental units through its Greener Homes Program . The Greener Homes Program is supported by a $2 million grant, funded by the New Hampshire Public Utility Commission’sRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), along with $2 million in matching funds from New Hampshire Housing, and $3 million in weatherization funds that were committed by the state’s Office of Energy and Planning. Under the Greener Homes Program, New Hampshire Housing has partnered with several agencies statewide to conduct comprehensive energy audits and to complete energy efficiency improvements on nearly 800 low-income rental units during the grant’s two-year period.

The Wamesit Apartments complex, made up of 10 buildings, was originally constructed in 1974 to serve families in need of affordable housing and is currently owned and operated by the Portsmouth Housing Authority. Renovations to the more than 35 year old housing development will include replacing the old electric baseboard heating system with gas-fired boilers and improving building insulation. The energy and other building improvements that will be undertaken through the Greener Homes Program and other financing sources are expected to support approximately 170 construction-related jobs in New Hampshire during these challenging economic times.

Preserving safe, decent, affordable housing in Portsmouth is extremely important given the high cost of living in the seacoast area. The housing Wamesit Apartments provides is not easily replaceable, and it is of great value to the community to maintain and improve these rental units. Once renovations are complete, both the projects and the residents will benefit from lower energy costs, and families living in the apartments will also gain a more comfortable living environment.

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority is a self-supporting, public benefit corporation that operates a number of programs designed to assist low- and moderate-income persons with obtaining housing. Since its inception, New Hampshire Housing has helped more than 38,000 families purchase their own homes and has been instrumental in financing the creation of more than 14,000 multi-family housing units. More information about its programs can be found on the agency’s website at www.nhhfa.org .

Contact:
Jane Law
Phone: (603) 310-9255

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