Avesta Housing and the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council have been awarded a $500,000 grant to improve road infrastructure near the new River Turn development in Conway, N.H., and facilitate the building of more affordable housing.
The grant was announced by the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) as part of $43.6 million distributed for projects in New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and Vermont. Created by Congress in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership that works to alleviate economic challenges by funding economic development and infrastructure projects in designated counties across the four states. NBRC received 187 applications for the latest round, of which only 66 were awarded.
When completed, River Turn will provide 156 affordable, non-age-restricted homes to Mount Washington Valley, located about 10 miles from the Maine border. Phase one, consisting of 40 homes, is scheduled for completion in November, and construction on phase two is tentatively scheduled to begin in summer 2024.
River Turn is near the Technology Village Business Resource Center on Route 16 (White Mountain Highway), which was created to stimulate growth of technology-intensive businesses by providing affordable office space and buildable lots with tailor-made infrastructure.
The NBRC grant will provide funding to connect two existing roads, Technology Lane and Council Road. This will make additional parcels available across 36 acres for the creation of new businesses and more affordable housing, provide greater utility infrastructure to the River Turn campus, and create a second means of egress for River Turn residents and first responders.
“As with many rural communities in the region, Conway is facing ongoing and persistent challenges regarding housing affordability,” said Avesta Housing Development Officer Patraic Hodgson. “Housing production in this region lags behind other portions of the state, which in turn has led to a lack of skilled labor in the area. Local employers often cite a lack of affordable housing as having a drastic effect on their ability to recruit and retain qualified employees. “The goal with the NBRC funds is to stimulate both economic and housing growth to an area in dire need of both.”