Warm, dry apartment is a good outcome
The idea: Save endangered apartments by providing timely financing based on an organization’s strong record, not just on collateral.
When it rained, it poured.
Water leaked through the roof’s worn-out shingles and sagged the ceiling of Evette Gonzalez’s second-floor apartment. When she carried her laundry to the basement, she splashed through puddles to get to the washing machine. Her allergies flared up.
Still, Evette was happy to have the apartment. A medical condition prevents her from driving, and the house on Spruce Street in Manchester is close by her daughter’s school and within walking distance of a grocery and other shops.
Her landlord, The Way Home, is a Manchester nonprofit that has helped more than 6,000 people with low incomes find safe, affordable housing. Along with locating or supplying housing and providing security deposit loans, the agency provides counseling and helps its clients build a variety of self-help skills, including financial management.
When the city donated Evette’s three-family building to The Way Home to house very-low-income families, it was in rough shape, the result of neglect and vandalism. The Way Home put nearly $50,000 into repairs to open the property and much more to improve it, including plumbing and electrical repairs, a new heating system, and windows.
Then the roof began leaking. By early 2018, the building needed a new roof and replacements for damaged ceilings, walls, and floors, as well as more plumbing repairs.
The Community Loan Fund lends to strengthen community-based services across New Hampshire, and to make sure a fixable problem, like a leaky roof, doesn’t put a dent in those services.
And although The Way Home relies on fundraising and government contracts for income—neither of which are guaranteed—it has served the community for 30 years and had previously borrowed from the loan fund.
The Community Loan Fund made the repair loan in the summer of 2018 and The Way Home got quickly to work re-shingling the roof and fixing the damage done by the leaks.
By fall, the work was finished. Rain remained outside the building, and Evette’s apartment was again warm, dry, and healthy.
“Support from the Community Loan Fund was vital in this past year,” said Chief Executive Officer Bianka Beaudoin. “This project would not have been possible without them.”
This story was published in the Community Loan Fund’s 2019 annual report.