The City of Manchester's goal is to have a fully balanced housing market of rental and homeowner occupied housing. For those individuals and families who cannot access housing through conventional markets or public housing, the City supports the provision of both emergency and transitional housing. Through the support of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, the City promotes fair housing and discourages unlawful housing discrimination.
Due to a limited supply of existing housing and the limited production of new housing, it is difficult to obtain affordable housing in the City of Manchester. The demands that have been placed upon the citizens of Manchester due to the current housing market prompted Mayor Baines to appoint a Housing Task Force to study the problem. The Task Force has been meeting since the Summer of 2001 and is scheduled to report their findings and recommended strategies to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in the Summer of 2002. Additional information is located on the Housing Task Force within this website.
City Resources Available For Housing
Financial assistance for housing activities in Manchester is primarily provided through the use of federal funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Federal funds include the Community Development Block Grant Program, the HOME Program and to a lesser degree Emergency Shelter Grant monies. The use of these funds is restricted to activities which provide affordable housing or shelter to low income people. Additional information on these programs may be accessed through the appropriate links listed below.
In addition to Federal funds the City also has an Affordable Housing Trust fund which is available for housing initiatives. The use of these funds are somewhat flexible in that there are no federal strings attached. The City allocates all of these funds on an annual basis as a part of the Community Improvement Program process and on a project specific basis through out the year. As proposed in the 2003 Community Improvement Program, Manchester has set aside approximately forty-four percent of it’s HOME allocation ($312,000) as incentive to attract housing developers interested in creating new affordable housing opportunities in the City. Developers are encouraged to contact the Department to discuss potential proposals.
In addition to City resources, Manchester housing initiatives leverage monies from other sources. The majority of the leveraged funds are administered by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority and they include but are not limited to HOME funds, the Affordable Housing Fund, tax exempt bonds and Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
Specific Housing Activities Supported Through The City’s CIP
To increase the availability of affordable housing, provide security deposits and rental assistance, eliminate lead based paint hazards, advocate for individuals being discriminated against and provide shelter to the homeless, Community Improvement Program funds have been allocated to several local non- profit organizations. The organizations include but are not limited to NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire, Families In Transition, The Way Home, NH Legal Assistance, Serenity Place, Helping Hands Outreach Center, Angie’s Shelter, Emily’s Place, Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Manchester Emergency Shelter.
Major projects during the past two years have included the following:
- NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire - Redevelopment of the Smith & Dow building located on Elm Street resulting in the creation of 68 units of affordable housing. Opening of the Neighborworks Homeownership Center located at 968 Elm Street resulting in the availability of counseling and financing to low income families interested in purchasing their own home.
- Families In Transition – The construction of 20 new units of transitional housing at 106 Market Street. The new facility will provide comprehensive services to 100 women and children on an annual basis.
- The Way Home – The 214 Spruce Street Renovation Project. The redevelopment of the former convent resulted in the creation of 7 units of transitional housing and comprehensive services for low income families experiencing lead hazards at their primary residence. 214 Spruce Street will also house the offices for the Way Home.