City of Portsmouth Celebrates Completion of Affordable Home and Infrastructure Project 

June 23, 2023

The City of Portsmouth and New Hampshire Community Loan Fund held a ribbon cutting Tuesday, June 20 on a project including five new affordable homes and significant site and infrastructure improvements at Woodbury Cooperative, a resident-owned manufactured-home park near downtown Portsmouth.  

The initiative to finance and support infrastructure improvements including water, sewer and paving upgrades was undertaken by the City’s Community Development Block Grant Program staff in conjunction with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The ribbon-cutting marked the completion of five years of effort to ensure that residents of Woodbury Cooperative have safe, affordable, and suitable housing. 

In March 2021, Tara Reardon, then-Director of New Hampshire Community Loan Fund Resident Owned Community Division and City of Portsmouth Community Development Director Elise Annunziata initiated a partnership to secure grant funding to support the development of plans and construction. 

Guests at the ribbon cutting included: representatives from New Hampshire Community Loan Fund; Mayor Deaglan McEachern; Greg Carson U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-New Hampshire Field Office Director; Andrew Dorsett NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs InvestNH Grant Program-Housing Finance Director; representatives from Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Chris Pappas’ offices, and residents of the Woodbury Cooperative Board of Directors.  

At the ceremony, Mayor Deaglan McEachern said, "One of the highest priorities for me and the City Council is securing new, safe, affordable housing as well as maintaining our existing inventory of affordable housing in Portsmouth. We all know doing that is a challenge due to limited land space, zoning, and high housing market costs, but we are committed to partnerships like this one to make it happen. We are proud to have partnered with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund on this long-envisioned site and infrastructure improvement project in the Woodbury Cooperative resident-owned community. We are looking ahead to more opportunities to help keep the 'City of the Open Door' open and affordable to all who wish to live and work in Portsmouth.” 

Kathy Ireland, Woodbury Cooperative Board of Directors commented, “We thank everyone here, the City, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and all the partners for their hard work to make our homes affordable and sustainable for the long term. I grew up on Woodbury Avenue and have lived here my whole life. There's a lot of people that have been here for decades, I am so glad that the Cooperative can now offer more opportunities for others to own their own home in Portsmouth.”  

Steve Saltzman, President and CEO, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund said, "Owning a manufactured home in a resident-owned community is now the most-affordable housing option almost anywhere in New Hampshire, and especially in the Seacoast Region. We applaud the City of Portsmouth, the Woodbury Cooperative residents, and every one of our funding partners for helping to make this community safer and more secure while also adding five new affordable homeownership opportunities to the city." 

"We are pleased that through the Portsmouth Community Development Division, federal Community Development Block Grant and state InvestNH grant funds totaling over $600,000 were identified and utilized toward the total project expenses,” said Annunziata. “This is significant because all grant funds applied to construction and demolition costs are critical to lowering loan debt service to the cooperative and keeping the resident-owned community affordable for the long term. It's a good feeling to know that this years-long vision and effort to make an important housing and economic sustainability impact for persons earning low incomes in Portsmouth has been achieved." 

The collaborative project resulted in: 

  • Removal of four abandoned and dilapidated manufactured homes and three site-built structures; 
  • Placement of five new affordable homes, which are planned to be sold for under $160,000 according to New Hampshire Community Loan Fund; 
  • Addition of new water/sewer connections and services; 
  • Reconfiguration and improvement of the entrance and paving into the community including a new road with a second means of egress; and  
  • Revitalization of the resident-owned community. 

More than $1.5 million was raised for the project with significant site improvements and necessary infrastructure upgrades funded through a collaboration of the Community Loan Fund, the City of Portsmouth Community Development Block Grant Program, HUD, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, InvestNH Demolition Grant Program, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen's Congressionally Directed Spending.  

The project adds to the park's sustainability and livability. It also lowers the residents' lot rents and creates five new affordable homeownership opportunities in the city. The one-and two-bedroom homes will each be sold for under $160,000. 

Contact:  Elise Annunziata, Community Development Director,  



Woodbury Cooperative Ribbon-Cutting