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Executive Councilor Ray Burton Commons, an affordable housing facility in North Woodstock, will open in December. (COURTESY)

Affordable housing center for seniors to open soon in No. Woodstock

NORTH WOODSTOCK - A new affordable housing facility for seniors in this White Mountain community will soon open its doors to its first tenants, and construction of another facility to the north in Lancaster is scheduled to be completed in spring 2013.

The Executive Councilor Ray Burton Commons, Southern New Hampshire Services' new 16 unit residence for seniors 62 years and older who meet income guidelines, is expecting its first resident in the beginning of December. The complex, which was built on a budget of $1,998,068, will be managed by the SNHS Management Corporation. It is named for Burton, a longtime member of the state's Executive Council.

"Councilor Burton has been a passionate supporter of community action and the people that it serves," Regina Buteau, SNHS housing manager said. "We at SNHS Management Corporation thought for a long time, and in consultation with community leaders in North Woodstock, it was a long overdue and appropriate honor for the councilor.

"He is legendary for helping the North Country seniors," she continued. "He is the 'go-to-guy' in the North Country for those in need."

The two-story building on Alpine Village Road has a community room, kitchen, library, laundry room, an elevator, and all 16 units are 550 square feet, with one bedroom each.

Buteau said she has received applications for the apartments, and that those will be going through the income verification process. There are still units available.

The project received funding through the HUD 202 program. The program offers interest-free capital for supportive housing for the elderly. In Grafton and Coos counties, the gross income limits for residents are $24,650 for single occupancy, $28,150 for double occupancy.

The construction funds do not have to be repaid if the facility remains low-income senior housing for 40 years. The Lancaster project, located on Route 2, is being built on a larger lot than the North Woodstock building, so it not only has more units - 20 one-bedroom units of 550 square feet each - but also is one-story, so there's no need for an elevator.

The construction budget for the Lancaster senior housing is $2,357,509. Income guidelines are the same, as are the interior common rooms and management offices. Rents are federally subsidized, with tenants' shares pegged at 30 percent of their income.

Though SNHS is the Community Action Agency for Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, it provides housing for disadvantaged elderly residents throughout the state. Anyone interested in applying or having questions may contact Buteau at or 968-3063.

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