Jennifer A. Vadney: Opening doors to new homes
By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
Photo Credit: Thomas Roy, Union Leader
FRANCESTOWN — There is no such thing as a typical day for Neighborhood Development Manager Jennifer A. Vadney.
The 39-year-old started working for NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire 15 years ago as a community organizer knocking on doors.
Over the years, her role has expanded into real estate development and project management.
“I really enjoy construction and I really enjoy development and it just grew into that,” she said. “I think there are so, so many reasons to enjoy and appreciate the work.”
Vadney is often the first face a community sees when a project is proposed in a community.
“It’s interesting how many times we go into communities and people don’t want it,” she said.
But almost immediately she will start receiving phones calls from people hoping to get an affordable unit. And once the project is completed it is embraced by the community because they see the need and it immediately is a part of the community as a whole.
She also likes to show the units when a project is completed and tenants are seeing their new homes for the first time. Many times, new tenants will have tears in their eyes and express their gratitude at having affordable housing, she said.
“I can stay where I want to be. I can afford it and be safe,” Vadney said is the sentiment.
NeighborWorks has 412 affordable apartments in Southern New Hampshire, and Vadney has played a critical role in developing over 200 of these.
She works hard to identify appropriate sites, secure financing, and build quality affordable housing, she said. Currently, the nonprofit is working to renovate 98 units of affordable rental housing it already owns in the Center City of Manchester.
The daughter of an Air-Force colonel, Vadney grew up in California, Virginia, Paris, France, and New Hampshire.
She has always had a strong desire to contribute to her community, so working for a nonprofit and volunteering her spare time to organizations like the Queen City Rotary and the Francestown Old Meeting House is a way of life for her.
Vadney and her husband, Carlos Agudelo, live in Francestown where they have found the right balance between city and rural life.
“Close enough to Manchester, but we can still be in the woods on the weekends,” she said.
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