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Senior Housing Plan Approved

  • An artist's rendering of a new three story apartment building at Summer Park in Hanover, N.H., to be built in 2019. The $4.6 million building will replace three eight-unit buildings on the 1.6-acre lot between Park, Summer and Lebanon streets. (Courtesy Twin Pines Housing Trust)



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, July 20, 2018

Hanover — Construction of a new, three-story apartment building at Summer Park is on track to start next summer, after town officials approved plans this month to revamp the affordable housing community near Hanover High School.

The Hanover Planning Board “thoroughly endorsed” Twin Pines Housing Trust’s proposal to build a 24-unit apartment complex for seniors and disabled people at its meeting earlier this month, board Chairwoman Judith Esmay said.

The $4.6 million facility will replace three eight-unit buildings located on a 1.6-acre lot between Park, Summer and Lebanon streets.

The town-owned buildings ultimately will be demolished once construction of the new complex is complete sometime in 2020, said Andrew Winter, Twin Pines executive director.

“We’re obviously thrilled to have gotten approval from the town of Hanover’s Planning Board,” Winter said in a phone interview on Monday. “It’s an important milestone for the project.”

Talks to renovate Summer Park began three years ago, as it became apparent the facilities couldn’t meet the modern needs of Hanover’s seniors, Town Manager Julia Griffin said.

The buildings, which were constructed in 1975, lack elevators and energy efficiency measures, Griffin said. So the town partnered with Twin Pines to redevelop the units.

Residents also supported several initiatives to make the project a reality.

In 2017, voters at Town Meeting approved zoning changes that allowed for greater density for senior housing in the area, as well as decreased on-site parking requirements. They continued supporting the project a year later, when a proposal to transfer the property from Hanover to Twin Pines was passed by a voice vote.

To compete for loans from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Twin Pines needs to demonstrate it has “site control” over the property it is improving. The nonprofit also plans to fund the project with federal low-income housing tax credits through the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

“This is one of the ways that the town can be effective in helping to support the development or, in this case, the redevelopment of affordable housing by making the land available,” Griffin said on Monday.

The existing Summer Park units are subsidized under Section 8 and available to residents who earn 50 percent of Grafton County’s median income. That amounts to $28,250 for a single-person household.

New units likely wouldn’t be subsidized, but will be priced at affordable rates, Winter said on Tuesday. Exact rates have not yet been set.

All seniors who currently live in the apartments will be able to keep those apartments through construction and will be able to move into the building as it opens, Winter said.

Current residents must be 62 or older, or 18 or older and disabled, according to the Lebanon Housing Authority, which manages the property for Hanover.

Residents will be able to live in their existing apartments through construction, and will be relocated only after the new building is finished, Winter said.

“It was a part of our early discussions with the town and residents of Summer Park that it would be best if we could do redevelopment in a way that would allow for minimal moving,” he said. “It’s hard on seniors, as it is on anyone, to have multiple moves.”

Once construction is complete, Twin Pines will also look to expand Summer Park, Winter said.

A second phase of building would add an 18-unit building addition to the property. However, that project hasn’t been fully vetted by town officials, Winter said.

“We are delighted to be in a position where we are one step closer to getting some affordable housing built in the town of Hanover,” he said.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.