Community Planning Grant Awards Announced

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 New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority has announced its first round of awards to New Hampshire cities and towns through the Community Planning Grant (CPG) Program. As part of this program, the N.H. Preservation Alliance is overseeing a pilot project that will establish the state's first neigborhood heritage districts.   This planning tool helps stabilize and improve property values while protecting "character-defining features" of an area. The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources developed a handbook for creating a neighborhood heritage district, and many communities are interested in this new tool.

The CPG Program was created by New Hampshire Housing, in collaboration with a consortium of public agencies and state-wide institutions, to help New Hampshire cities and towns improve their land use regulations and create more resilient local economies. Funding is provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). New Hampshire Housing is one of 27 state and local agencies to be awarded a share of $28 million in FY2011 grants through HUD’s Community Challenge Grant program, which aims to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable and economically vital communities.

The CPG Program will help municipalities reform and streamline their regulations to help promote development that will have a lasting positive impact on communities while also helping them conserve important resources.  Projects receiving funding include the development of mixed-use and multi-family housing overlay zones in village centers; downtown infill ordinances; form-based codes; building codes that focus on energy efficiency; neighborhood heritage districts; conservation subdivision ordinances; corridor planning for areas of heavy commercial and automobile activity; and others. Some communities have been awarded grants to review land use regulations to help determine which changes should be made in the future to align these codes with community master plans.  Based on the recommendations of an advisory committee, New Hampshire Housing has awarded 22 grants to municipalities totaling over $550,000 in this funding round. These awards were made on a competitive basis and awardees were selected from 32 applications seeking nearly $830,000 in funding, collectively.

Grant awardees in New Hampshire Housing’s first round of CPG funding are: Amherst, Brookline, Dover, Dunbarton, Enfield, Farmington, Goffstown, Greenfield, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hooksett (the first pilot neighborhood heritage district), Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Milford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rindge, Salisbury, Seabrook, and Temple.

"We are very pleased that HUD has funded this program, and we are grateful for the participation and support of our partners in helping to create it," said Dean Christon, Executive Director, New Hampshire Housing. "The funding awarded through the Community Planning Grant Program will provide important planning resources for our cities and towns."

Information about the second round of CPG grants will be announced later this year. Special funding allocations will be made specifically for communities that seek to create neighborhood heritage districts or to adopt inclusionary zoning ordinances that promote affordable housing. For more information about New Hampshire Housing’s CPG Program, please visit the NH Citizen Planner Collaborative at www.nhcitizenplanner.org.

About New Hampshire Housing: New Hampshire Housing is a self-supporting, public benefit corporation that operates a number of programs designed to assist low- and moderate-income persons with obtaining housing. Since its inception, New Hampshire Housing has helped nearly 39,000 families purchase their own homes and has been instrumental in financing the creation of more than 14,000 multi-family housing units. More information about its programs can be found on the agency's website at www.nhhfa.org .

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