Dignitaries from the Community Loan Fund and the City of Portsmouth, along with an array of representatives from state and federal offices and housing agencies, gathered at Woodbury Cooperative June 20 to celebrate the completion of a project that enhanced a run-down city neighborhood.
The project improved the small manufactured-home cooperative in several ways, including installing five new homes where abandoned buildings had stood, replacing its aging water and sewer systems, upgrading its electrical system, expanding its access road to accommodate emergency vehicles, and lowering residents’ rent.
“This is unbelievable. It really is,” said co-op secretary Kathy Ireland. “It’s truly amazing that donors helped us, not even knowing who we were. I was born and raised in Portsmouth and it means a lot to me to stay here, in my community, in my neighborhood.”
The residents of Woodbury Cooperative purchased their 12-home park in 2017, permanently protecting their homes from being sold or demolished. Since then, Woodbury’s Board of Directors has worked with the Community Loan Fund to assess their community’s property needs, plan improvements, and gain city approvals. Woodbury is Portsmouth’s only resident-owned community (ROC).
“Pretty remarkable day,” smiled Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern. “The thing about this place here is that more folks can stay in Portsmouth, and that’s really the backbone of this city.”
Read coverage of the project on Seacoastonline.com (paywall).