Kuster Hosts Discussion Focused on Affordable Housing in Upper Valley and Beyond
West Lebanon — U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., said she will work for a legislative solution to the problem of expiring federal rental subsidies. Kuster’s action could help residents of the Pine Tree Lane Apartments and other similar apartment complexes where subsidies are set to run out.
Kuster met with affordable housing advocates and officials on Monday afternoon to discuss possible ways to address the coming loss of affordable housing in West Lebanon, elsewhere in New Hampshire and across the country in a discussion at the Kilton Public Library.
“This is a looming problem coming for lots of communities,” Kuster said.
Across the country, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program mortgage loans for 60 affordable apartment complexes — including more than 700 units — are expected to mature this year, said Ted Brady, the director of the USDA Rural Development program in Vermont and New Hampshire. When the loans mature, associated rental assistance for residents goes away.
One such loan for the 50-unit Pine Tree Lane Apartments, located on an extension of Pleasant Street in West Lebanon, is set to mature at the end of this year — the first of its kind to mature in the Twin States. Four more loans are expected to mature in New Hampshire in the next five years. No such loans are expected to expire in Vermont in the near term.
“We’re just now trying to get our heads around this,” Brady said. “We’re trying to find a way to keep units in our program.”Over the next decade the number of such mortgages maturing is expected to balloon, Brady said.
Kuster said she hopes to work with other members of the state’s Congressional delegation — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. and U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H. — as well as other lawmakers who represent other rural constituencies that may be affected by the maturation of these loans to take legislative action to address the problem.
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