'Eyesore' in Nashua to be demolished
NASHUA - It has been about 18 months since fire destroyed an eight-unit apartment house at 45-47 Chestnut St., injuring three residents and a firefighter.
Last Thursday, the Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity gave a brief presentation to the aldermanic Human Affairs Committee on its plans to replace the building with a two-story, side-by-side duplex. Each of the units would containing two or three bedrooms and be about 900 to 1,000 square feet.
"I think this is a really good project," said Alderman-at-Large Lori Wilshire. " ... It is kind of an eyesore in the neighborhood."
If the project is approved by the Board of Aldermen and the Nashua Zoning Board, Habitat for Humanity will seek $325,800 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnership Program.
"The HOME program is all about affordable housing," said Carrie Schena, manager of the city's Urban Programs Department.
Each year, HUD requires 15 percent of funds to be set aside for a community housing development organization. The city has HUD funds that have continued to accumulate, so the timing of the proposed Habitat for Humanity project is ideal, Schena said.
Several aldermen agreed that the building, which is across the street from the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, is in dire need of repair.
"We hope this project will be the start of a larger revitalization effort in the Tree Streets area," Leah Shuldiner, executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity group, said last month.
Although plans are still preliminary, Shuldiner said the old structure at 45-47 Chestnut St. will be demolished immediately for safety reasons. Construction of the new building will likely start in the spring once Habitat for Humanity has completed another project in Hudson.
The Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity last worked on a project in Nashua about five years ago, converting two properties in the French Hill neighborhood.
The proposed resolution supported by the committee would reclassify the prior year's Community Housing Development Organization's reserve funds under the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and also allow the funds to be used for the acquisition and reconstruction of the property by Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity.