Applicants line up for chance at apartments that won’t be open for six months

By PATRICK ADRIAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 10-08-2023 2:00 AM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — On Monday, the nonprofit Twin Pines Housing Trust began accepting applications for two multi-family housing projects that are expected to open in about six months.

Combined they will provide 82 apartment units for people making low to median incomes. As of Friday at noon, 51 applications had been submitted, according to Twin Pines Executive Director Andrew Winter.

“The first people to apply (said they) showed up at 4 a.m. and camped outside our offices, waiting for us to open,” Winter said in a phone interview.

Twenty people in all were waiting to apply when Twin Pines’s offices opened at 8 a.m., according to Winter.

Such is the case in the ultra-tight Upper Valley rental market.

Four individuals were co-workers whose employer gave them time off to submit applications.

“That’s something we don’t see a lot of, though it indicates that employers are recognizing the need of their employees for housing,” Winter said.

Both buildings are still under construction. Winter said they anticipate the apartments being ready for occupancy around late March or early April.

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One building, Riverwalk Apartments, is located at the corner of Maple and Prospect streets, across from the Listen center, just over the bridge from West Lebanon.

Riverwalk contains 42 residential units, including 10 studio, eight one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments.

Winter said the nonprofit has not offered three-bedroom units before.

“We saw a lot of demand for the three-bedroom units,” Winter said in a phone interview. “But there’s also been a lot of demand for the one-bedrooms.”

In an interview last October, Winter said the Riverwalk would be affordable to a range of annual incomes — applicants with incomes from around $30,000 to $90,000 would be eligible to rent, depending on the number of people living in a unit.

Eight of the Riverwalk units will be designated for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The second project, Mountainvale Apartments, is a former Fairfield Inn and Suites on Ballardvale Drive that Twin Pines is converting into a multi-family apartment building. By combining adjacent hotel rooms, the project will turn the 67 hotel rooms into 40 residential units — 31 one-bedroom apartments and nine studio apartments.

Twin Pines is also partnering with the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, which is located near the hotel, to provide housing units to veterans as well as VA employees.

Four of the units will be subsidized with housing vouchers through the VA Supportive Housing program, or VASH — a federally funded program that provides housing assistance, case management and transitional services to homeless veterans.

Winter said in an interview last November that the Mountainvale housing units will be for individuals or families whose incomes are 60% or less of the area median. In Windsor County, that would be under roughly $60,000.

Applications will be reviewed on a “first come, first serve” basis, according to Winter.

Applications for both properties are available at the Twin Pines office at 226 Holiday Drive or online at tphtrust.org. Additional information is available by emailing info@tphtrust.org.

Patrick Adrian may be reached at padrian@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.