ROCHESTER – Financial assistance from the New Hampshire Housing Authority will allow the redevelopment of a Victorian house that was used until 2019 as an assisted living facility.

The renovated Gafney House, located at 90 Wakefield Street, owned by the Strafford County Community Action Partnership, is on track to become affordable self-catering housing for seniors in $ 4.2 million project which has been in preparation for a few years.

According to NH Housing documents, there will be 21 units in two existing buildings: the Victorian mansion (1897) and an adjoining annex (1960), as well as an independent shed. The buildings will be rehabilitated to include 10 studios, nine one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units.

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“The Strafford County Community Action Partnership was able to acquire the Gafney Home building after the Gafney Home board closed its assisted living facility and relocated residents,” said Julian L. Long, development coordinator Community / Grants Manager for the City of Rochester. “The building will be renovated to create self-contained apartments for low-income seniors. ”

Long said the project is a partnership with the Strafford County Community Action Partnership and the Strafford Regional Planning Commission.

“The goal is to start in early 2022, depending on the finalization of the various sources of funding,” he said. “It’s a multi-million dollar project.”

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Betsey Andrews Parker, Executive Director of Community Action Partnership of Strafford County, explained the project schedule

“We hope to start in the spring and expect the project to take 18-24 months,” she said. “We are going to rely a lot on tax credits. I think the (Community Development Block Grant) is about $ 500,000.

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Andrews Parker said Gafney Home’s board of directors has reached a critical point where necessary renovations have forced them to consider closing the house and relocating residents. Ownership transferred to the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County in 2019.

“There was just too much work to do,” she said. “They weren’t handicapped accessible. They were going to have to install an elevator and do a lot of other necessary renovations. In the end, they gave the building and assets to us on the condition that we keep it as a form of Seniors Housing Once we got the tax credits the concept we wanted came true, we are very happy to provide affordable housing that our senior residents so badly need.

Funding for the Gafney House project was approved by the New Hampshire Housing Board of Directors at its October meeting.

Sources of funding include low-rental housing tax credits and other federal and state funding focused on affordable housing in the state.

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