Financing for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Bethlehem and Nashua Approved by New Hampshire Housing

August 22, 2017

Funding for substance abuse treatment facilities in Bethlehem and Nashua was recently approved by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority Board of Directors. The new facilities will provide residential treatment services in the North Country and southern tier of the state for individuals whose alcohol and drug use affects their daily lives, causing family issues, irregular employment and arrests.

Funding for these facilities is part of the state’s response to New Hampshire’s ongoing opioid epidemic. In 2016 there were more than 450 deaths from either heroin or fentanyl, a painkiller that is about 50 times stronger than pure heroin. Last year the legislature allocated $2 million to the state’s Affordable Housing Fund, which is administered by New Hampshire Housing, to help create housing opportunities for individuals struggling with substance disorders.

Friendship House, the only residential drug-treatment facility in the North Country, will receive a total of $1.45 million from the Affordable Housing Fund toward construction of a new 32-bed facility that will be able to serve up to 60 individuals. The North Country Health Consortium will operate Friendship House, which will be owned by AHEAD (Affordable Housing Education & Development).

“It takes community support to provide ongoing individual health and community wellness for our friends, family, and neighbors who experience substance use disorders,” said Edward D. Shanshala, board president of the consortium.

“This funding from New Hampshire Housing toward the Friendship House facility and the fight against substance abuse disorders will have a lasting impact on AHEAD’s mission to develop and provide quality affordable housing, strengthening the families and communities of northern New Hampshire,” noted Mike Claflin, executive director of AHEAD.

In Nashua, Harbor Homes’ Northeastern Boulevard Recovery Housing project will receive $1.03 million to renovate a commercial building into a 55-bed recovery housing facility. It will include shared dining, kitchen, recreation, and service delivery spaces.

“We are thankful for this funding, which is critical to our community’s ability to save the lives of our neighbors in recovery from opioid and alcohol abuse,” said Peter Kelleher, president and CEO of Harbor Homes. “There are few longer-term recovery programs in NH that accept anyone in need, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay for services. These new recovery beds will allow men and women a place to gain stability and comfort with their early sobriety, while they lay the groundwork to successfully transition back into the larger community, gaining employment and securing permanent housing.”

“Recognizing the extent of the substance abuse crisis in the state, these projects will help address the need for residential treatment facilities,” noted Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. “Earlier this year, New Hampshire Housing committed $720,000 to Families in Transition for recovery housing in Manchester. With the latest allocations to the Bethlehem and Nashua projects from the state’s Affordable Housing Fund, the $2 million in special funding for substance disorder housing is now fully committed and has supported nearly 100 new recovery beds.”

Other NHHFA News:
New Hampshire Housing released its annual Residential Rental Cost Survey in June. It showed that the state’s tight rental market continues to drive vacancy rates down and rents up.
The next NHHFA Housing Market Update report will be available in late August.