This article originally appeared in the March 2016 Neighborhood Minute. To read the full newsletter in .pdf format, please click here.
The creation of affordable housing and revitalization of neighborhoods, has been a key part of the mission of our organization since our inception. The development of Renaissance I - Cedar Beech in 1994 marked our first endeavor into the creation of affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and preservation of existing housing stock. In the 22 years since then, those first 24 units have grown into a portfolio totaling 14 properties encompassing 412 garden style or town home apartments.
In recent years, NeighborWorks® Southern New Hampshire has been working with New Hampshire Housing, the agency that administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program in the state, to find a way to reinvest in properties that are over fifteen years old to perform major capital improvements. This massive undertaking involves 98 units in five properties in Manchester’s Center City, and will take more than a year to complete. Renaissance I, II, III, IV and 6, consisting of Cedar Beech, Merrimack Place, Three Corners, Tree Streets, and Phoenix Apartments, have provided much needed affordable rental options to working individuals and families over the years and all have experienced some degree of deferred maintenance over time. We are pleased to have the opportunity to reinvest in these properties so they will continue to provide quality options for those in need.
This venture, called RENEW, will include a myriad of improvements at each property. From siding and window replacement to new floors and refrigerators, this refresh of these older properties will be extensive and comprehensive. To further complicate the process, all 98 units are fully occupied, and we will seek to shuffle residents and construction workers in a manner that minimizes the disruption of daily life as much as possible for residents
Accomplishing such an ambitious project has taken the cooperation and collaboration of several partner groups. The 9% tax credit has been used for creating new affordable housing units in New Hampshire until now. Under a new pilot program through New Hampshire Housing, these tax credits are being applied to preserve existing affordable housing stock like RENEW.
“This is monumental for us,” said Robert Tourigny. “Many in the industry have their eye on us to see if this can serve as the model for how to, or not to, recapitalize and preserve their portfolio.” We are grateful that Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, the syndicator of these tax credits, and the City of Manchester are partnering with us to help make it happen. The City has joined New Hampshire Housing in allowing RENEW to consolidate their respective loans on all of the Renaissance properties. NNEHIF is working on the exit strategy as the limited partner of Renaissance III and 6, as well as the new syndication of RENEW.
Other key partners include: John S. Jordan Design, architect; Sheehan Phinney, legal counsel; Stewart Property Management, property manager.
RENEW represents NeighborWorks® Southern New Hampshire’s commitment to reinvesting in our roots to keep our housing and Manchester neighborhoods strong. Construction is slated to begin in late spring 2016, and should wind down in mid-summer of 2017.