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Senior community aims for energy cut

Last modified: 5/7/2012 12:00:00 AM
Henniker's Rush Square, a low-income senior housing community, will soon receive an energy-efficiency renovation expected to cut energy consumption by 23 percent. The enhancements will be paid for with a $295,000 grant from the New Hampshire Housing Authority's Greener Homes Program.

Jane Law, the authority's director of communications, said the program started about a year ago and is focused on improving energy efficiency at some of the older low-income, multi-family rental properties in New Hampshire.

'We took a look at all the low income rental housing in the state, at least the publicly subsided ones, and did an analysis on age . . . and which ones were kind of facing the most critical increases in operating costs due to energy,' she said.

Rush Square, a 40-unit facility, was built in 1980. Law said the units will receive new windows or sealing of existing windows as well as new insulation in the attics. A new high efficiency boiler will also be installed and 16 of the units will get new refrigerators.

Law said it isn't clear when construction will begin, but that the entire process should take less than a year. She said no residents will have to leave their homes during the renovations.

In accepting the grant, Rush Square's ownership also agreed to keep the facility as low-income housing for the next 99 years.

'One of the concerns - especially as rental markets get tighter, which they're starting to do - is it actually puts pressure on some of the affordable projects not to be affordable anymore,' Law said. 'When you can put in writing that they will stay affordable . . . it's really a factor of being able to maintain those assets of affordable housing in the state.


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