The Caleb Development Group’s apartment project on the Tannery site in Penacook has received all the city approvals they need to go forward. Caleb has applied for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the NH Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) to provide funding for their project. There are 13 projects state wide that are applying for the LIHTC but there is only enough funding for four to five projects. A decision for who will be receiving funding for the upcoming construction season will be made by the NHHFA the end of January. The determination for who will receive funding is based on a points system from responses on the developers application.
I have put together a petition opposing the project and accompanying information that lists the concerns related to the project. If you are interested in signing the petition please let me know. I am asking that only those who are in the MVSD portion of our city sign the petition.
Below are three documents. The wording on the petition, supporting statements to the petition and a list of the other enclosures I will be sending to the NHHFA.
If you would like to sign the petition, have any question or concerns regarding the apartment project, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 224-6086 - Allan
PETITION OPPOSING THE CALEB DEVELOPMENT GROUP’S
TANNERY APARTMENT PROJECT
Penacook’s property tax rate is now the fifth highest in the State. After much community input, the undersigned do not believe this project will meet the goals of those who have voiced their opinions regarding the future development of this parcel and the the Penacook Vision Plan.
We understand the need and demand for affordable housing, including workforce, low income and subsidized projects in communities throughout our State. But we also understand that using commercial property exclusively for a residential project will only delay any potential tax relief for our community. Particularly a community whose commercial tax base is only approximately 24% of Penacook’s assessed value.
Those listing their names below are opposed to the granting of Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority to the Caleb Development Group for their project on Canal Street in Penacook. We believe that the site will best meet the needs of the Village by maximizing the potential assessed value of the parcel through a mixed use development project as stated in the Penacook Vision Plan and by the documents accompanying this petition
Supporting Statement to the Petition to
Deny LIHTC for the Caleb Development Group’s Project at
11 - 35 Canal Street, Penacook, NH
On April 25, 2017, a presentation was made to the residents of Penacook regarding this project. At that time a number of representations regarding the project were made which have since been shown to be not accurate or in conflict with the rules governing the Housing and Urban Development’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program which is administered in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA).
It is important to note that it is not the project we object to, but the location of the project. The Tannery site is one of only a few larger parcels in Penacook that are zoned for commercial development. Concord (Penacook) residents who pay their property taxes to the Merrimack Valley School District have the fifth highest tax rate in the State even though MVSD costs per pupil is in the bottom ten statewide. Removing properties from potential commercial development for a residential only project will result in a continued disproportionate property tax burden for Penacook residents whose school portion of their property taxes support the MVSD.
Comparing the amount of commercial development between Concord’s two school districts, approximately 41% of the assessed value for those who are in the Concord School District is commercial, compared to approximately 24% for those in the MVSD.
Our concern is that the Caleb Development Group with all the experience they have in low income housing projects would make so many misstatements regarding their project. Our concern is that this project will add to the already high property taxes in Penacook. Our concern is that the project will not; “…achieve broad community development objectives, including “smart growth” and neighborhood revitalization” as stated in the NEW HAMPSHIRE 2018 QUALIFIED ALLOCATION PLAN FOR THE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROGRAM
A SENIOR PREFERENCE IS NOT PERMITTED
On the City of Concord’s website - http://www.concordnh.gov/documentcenter/view/9236 - on page 38 of their presentation, it states that there will be “Negligible impact on the MV School District because of “senior preference” & limited quantity of two bedroom units”.
NHHFA has noted to the applicant they can not have a preference for seniors in a non age restricted project.
After the Caleb Development Group was contacted by NHFA and the Concord City Council voted to remove all language pertaining to a senior preference for the project, in the November 26,2017 edition of the Concord Monitor, Caitlin Andrews reported that “Despite the change, Bernardin said the apartments will still be marketed toward senior citizens…”.
THE PROJECT IS NOT WORK FORCE HOUSING
It has been stated at public forums and meetings that the project would be for ‘work force housing’. NH RSA-674:58-IV defines workforce housing:
“…in which more than 50 percent of the dwelling units have fewer than two bedrooms, shall not constitute workforce housing for the purposes of this subdivision.”
Of the proposed projects 54 units 40 will be one bedroom.
DOES NOT ACHIEVE BROAD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES
NEW HAMPSHIRE 2018 QUALIFIED ALLOCATION PLAN FOR THE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROGRAM July 10, 2017
States in part in HFA:109.02 PRIMARY ALLOCATION PRIORITIES:
“Projects that achieve broad community development objectives, including “smart growth” and neighborhood revitalization”
THE PROJECT DOES NOT HAVE BROAD COMMUNITY SUPPORT
When reviewing the Penacook Vision Plan http://www.concordnh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8714 this is not the type of project that the community envisioned to bring economic vitality to Penacook. Additionally it does not enhance the historic character of the Village which becomes clear when reviewing the architectural design of the project.
At community meetings and at testimony before the City Council the Caleb Development Group stated that they would try and save the one potentially historic brick building on the site. However, their testimony at the Planning Board meeting for final approval they stated that they would be demolishing this building.
At that same Planning Board meeting it was noted the the building should try to better reflect the historic character of Penacook Village. Having seen their revised redesigns after the Planning Board meeting, the building still does not address the community’s concerns. Enclosed is a picture of the State of New Hampshire’s utility building that will house two steam boilers to heat the State House complex in downtown Concord on the corners of Green and School Streets. This picture is enclosed to compare the State’s willingness to respect the historic nature of our city and compare that to Caleb’s total disregard to any connection to the historic character of Penacook.