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October 11, 2012

Council backs Elder Affairs on housing

Committee reserves town location

LONDONDERRY — The Town Council decided to honor a previous commitment and supported the Elder Affairs Committee in its search for affordable senior housing.

Committee members began searching for a site to build housing units in 2010, but progress has been slow.

Members of the Elder Affairs Committee addressed the Town Council last week to ensure the site was still spoken for.

Previously, the committee was searching for grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in order to build an affordable senior housing unit.

“There are far too many seniors being forced into mobile homes and trailer parks because there is no affordable housing community in town,” committee member Susan Haussler said at an Elder Affairs Committee meeting last month.

However, no federal funding was awarded this year, which stalled plans until 2013, committee Chairman Stacy Thrall said.

Before any new plans are made, the site still has to be cleaned.

Thrall read from an environmental survey done in 2011 about the 13.6-acre plot of land that showed the results were less than perfect.

According to the report, fuel and oil cans are still lying near Sanborn Road. The chance of HUD funding will be greatly improved if the area is cleaned, Thrall said.

So far, members of the committee are unsure how a cleanup will be funded. Although Al Baldasaro, vice chairman for the committee and a state representative, thinks there are some federal funding options.

“I’ll kick down some doors if I have to,” he said.

The Elder Affairs Committee received a resolution in 2009 from the Town Council stating the area is reserved for affordable senior housing.

The Dog Park Study Committee has also examined the site as a possible location for a dog park in town.

“We had no idea the Elder Affairs Committee had also expressed interest in the area,” Dog Park Study Committee Chairman Dottie Grover said.

There are no hard feelings when it came to the site, Thrall said, and the two committees support both projects.

Grover said the Dog Park Study Committee was scheduled to meet on Oct. 9 to brainstorm more ideas for a dog park.

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