Fall 2021
A note from our Executive Director...
It is not the sudden surge of evictions that tenants and advocates feared. Instead, there appears to be a gradual eviction crisis that is building up and will have long-term implications in our communities. COVID-related impacts are uncovered, and often times are suppressed or ignored. In addition to the many financial impacts such as employment and the recent inflated prices along with supply chain influences, there is the ever-present psychological toll. In addition, there is the unknown impact on the long-term educational effects to our young students.

Social activism, when combined with COVID and the recent political clashes, has created an environment that is cause for alarm. This environment is compounding an already difficult housing shortage and affordability that will have a lasting impact on our communities.
We, our federal and state officials, as well as our communities need to do better! We can only hope that the funding that has been announced will, in fact, be disbursed and distributed in a quick and efficient manner. Means testing and the fear that some may benefit from this situation cannot be used to prevent those in need of receiving this help.

In addition to the many services that AHEAD performs, the one which has again become more and more important, is our eviction prevention efforts. During the so-called foreclosure crisis, our financial literacy team assisted many of our neighbors. All told, AHEAD has assisted 1,924 families with mortgage delinquency/foreclosure prevention counseling since 2002. We have joined with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority to help oversee The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Program which will leverage this experience at AHEAD.

Please join us in supporting all those in need. Help us help those in need. The need has never been greater. 211 is available as a reliable source for information, for those in need of services or financial help. Be aware of individuals or families who are struggling or are in need and reach out to them. This is a time when we all need to come together and try to blunt the horrible impact that COVID is having on our students, our seniors and so many others in our community. Together, we can truly make a difference!

In closing, I thank you all for your commitment and support to AHEAD’s mission and the communities we serve! The work we do would not be possible without all of you. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, peaceful holiday season!


~Mike Claflin
AHEAD Turns 30
A favorite amongst many professionals, advocates and friends, AHEAD enthusiastically embraces the personal connections and opportunities our Annual Meeting ensues. This special occasion is a pinnacle event which celebrates our recent achievements, shares our current aspirations and helps raise the critical funding necessary for AHEAD to sustain its mission. The event also recognizes our board and staff, community partners, steadfast donors, housing advocates and success stories.
2021 was a special milestone for AHEAD as it commemorated 30 years of bringing vital housing and programs to people in our communities.  The event highlighted AHEAD’s history, growth and impact, featuring heartfelt speeches from David Wood (AHEAD Founder), Matt Manning (HomeOwnership Director), Mark MacDonald (longstanding Board Member and Tenant), Chuck Henderson (on behalf of Senator Jeanne Shaheen) and Ben Belanger (on behalf of Senator Maggie Hassan). A huge THANK YOU to everyone who was able to come out and celebrate with us!
Vital Help for Homeowners
The HomeOwnership Center Team is pleased to announce that they been selected as the sole counseling service provider for The Homeowner Assistance Fund. The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides financial assistance for New Hampshire homeowners who cannot pay their home mortgage, utilities, home insurance, association fees, and/or property taxes during the pandemic. The program is expected to be available through at least 2022.

HAF is a federally funded homeowner assistance program through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR). It is administered by New Hampshire Housing, who will be accepting and processing applications.

Eligible homeowners must:
·       Have experienced a COVID related reduction in income or increase in household
expense after January 21, 2020.
·       Own and occupy the property as their primary residence.
·       Have incomes of less than 125% of Area Median Income.

HAF covers:
·       Mortgage Loan Reinstatement - maximum benefit $20,000*
·       Property Charges Default Resolution - maximum benefit $20,000*
·       Utility/Internet Payment Assistance - maximum benefit $3,000*
 
*Total assistance per households is $20,000 for all programs combined
NeighborWorks Week 2021
Each June, NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness. As a charter member of NeighborWorks America, AHEAD shares the common goal to create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen our communities in Northern NH.
Our 2021 NeighborWorks Week projects involved beautifying the outside grounds of our newest affordable housing property, Community Living at Lloyd’s Hills in Bethlehem. Additionally, AHEAD devoted a day to help Bethlehem Trail Association with their projects which directly benefit the local community. It was an amazing opportunity to bring our community together, have fun and make a difference!
Welcome Aboard!
AHEAD is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members!
Erica Antonucci has been with Union Bank for ten years with prior banking experience before that. In between bank jobs, she was a business teacher for the Hugh Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton NH. Erica is currently a lender with Union Bank but also has previous teller, personal banking and managerial experience. She is a graduate of Franklin Pierce University (College) and has her MBA. Erica is a native to Littleton where she currently resides.
 
In her spare time, Erica enjoys recreational running, strength training, indoor cycling, snowshoeing and walking with her two dogs. 

Louise Caouette grew up in the Berlin/Milan area and has lived most of her life in Coos and Essex counties. She worked in the paper industry for several years. Most recently Louise has been involved in real estate and is currently a broker with A Notch Above. Her full time job is with the largest home energy rating company in the US, DPIS Builder Services. 

Louise lives in Groveton with her husband, Ted and their daughter, Lazabia. 
New Developments
In Woodstock, pre-development work was started on a phased development project to construct 58 units of affordable workforce housing. Phase I of the project will be 28 units, with construction expected to start in spring of 2022. The project will be ENERGY STAR Certified and will employ green building techniques, materials, and energy conservation measures. Stay tuned…
 
AHEAD relocated executive and real estate development offices within Mount Eustis Commons office building into newly renovated spaces adjacent to AHEAD’s other departments. AHEAD has now consolidated all staff in a single wing making it easier for staff and visitors to find us. Our new office is located on Level 1, Suite 127. 
 
National Survey of COVID Impact
COVID-19 and all its residual facets has deeply affected every community nationwide. Here’s a very insightful, national survey that captured data on the impact COVID-19 had on low-to-moderate income people, their communities and the entities that help them. Perspectives from Main Street- 2021 Survey Results 
Feeding our Community
The staff and board of AHEAD pitched in to help feed our local community again this year. The All Saints Episcopal Church Dinner Bell in Littleton offers free meals once a week to anyone in our local communities. Typically running from September through May, these weekly homemade meals are prepared and served to approximately 70-100 individuals.
Our organization believes in supporting community efforts for the greater good and prosperity of its residents. Food insecurity is everywhere- no community is immune.  We strongly encourage everyone to reach out to their local dinner bells or community meals and food pantries to lend a hand. It’s good for the heart, it’s fun and it means a great deal to those with limited resources or experiencing hardship. It takes a village.  
AHEAD Launches New Website
After 9 months in the works, AHEAD launched its brand new website in July! With added enhancements, such as an ADA (American Disabilities Act) tool kit, we hope our site helps visitors easily navigate through pages and quickly access the key information and services they are seeking. Check it out!
AHEAD Property Management

AHEAD currently manages over 500 units of affordable multifamily rental housing in ten northern New Hampshire towns: Berlin, Bethlehem, Colebrook, Franconia, Groveton, Lancaster, Lincoln, Lisbon, Littleton, Whitefield and Woodsville. We also have properties in the following Vermont towns: Newbury and Wells River. Below is a list of our current rental locations. For additional infor- mation about our affordable housing, please contact our property management office at 603-444-1377 (Ext. 1036).

Senior Housing
Beattie House- Littleton, NH
Notre Dame Apartments- Berlin, NH
 
Subsidized Housing
Ammonoosuc Green Main Building- Littleton, NH
Ammonoosuc Green on Ammonoosuc Street- Littleton, NH
Lisbon Family Housing- Lisbon, NH
McKee Inn- Lancaster, NH
Groveton Housing- Groveton, NH
Highland House- Whitefield, NH
Northern Lights Housing- Berlin, NH
Lisbon Inn- Lisbon, NH
Lincoln Green Apartments- Lincoln, NH
Monadnock Village- Colebrook, NH
Woodsville Opera Block- Woodsville, NH
Spear House & Spear House Apartments- Wells River, VT
Montebello Hill Apartments- Newbury, VT
 
Affordable Housing
Bethlehem Pine Manor- Bethlehem, NH
Community Living at Lloyd’s Hills- Bethlehem, NH
Franconia- Franconia, NH
Littleton South West on South Street- Littleton, NH
Littleton South West on West Main Street- Littleton, NH
Littleton Town & Country on Country Lane- Littleton, NH
Littleton Town & Country on Cottage Street- Littleton, NH
Littleton Town & Country on Ely Street- Littleton, NH
Whitefield- Whitefield, NH
Woodsville Maple Walnut- Woodsville, NH 
Lending a Hand for Community Recreation
This year, AHEAD’s staff recruited a team of volunteers and adopted a trail for the Bethlehem Trails Association.  Bethlehem Trails Association (BTA) is a community-based nonprofit with a passion for mountain biking and a mission to build trails accessible to all riders.  Our job was to visit AHEAD’s assigned trail monthly to perform general maintenance, clear debris and report any major issues. It was a welcomed opportunity to be outdoors, strengthen our own team and help another local community-focused organization at the same time.
AHEAD is looking for talented and conscientious volunteer board and committee members to help lead and strengthen our organizational impact.   

·        Do you care a lot about today’s housing issues and want to help AHEAD provide safe, quality, affordable housing and financial stability to families in our communities?
·        Do you have certain skill sets such as: management, finance, marketing, real estate, fundraising, law, etc. you would like to contribute in a philanthropic way?
·        Are you a passionate person looking for an easy but significant way to get more involved and serve your community?
·        Do you want to learn more about the nonprofit world and gain a greater understanding of your community and its housing and educational needs?
·        Would you like to meet new people and work as a team player to address key issues and make decisions to help sustain our mission?
·        Are you a service recipient and would like to give back or pay it forward in a meaningful way?

We are currently recruiting for the following:
Board Members  (Estimated time commitment per month: 3 Hours)
Governance Committee  (Estimated time commitment every other month: 2 Hours) 
Finance Committee   (Estimated time commitment per quarter: 2 Hours)
Resource Development  (Estimated time commitment per quarter: 2 Hours)
HomeOwnership Advisory  (Estimated time commitment per quarter: 2 Hours)
If you’d like donate your time, thoughtfulness, and leadership to AHEAD’s board of directors or on any of the listed committees, please call Joy Davis to set up a time to meet. We would love to chat about the opportunity of working together!