Frequently Asked Questions
Renting an Apartment
Where and how do I apply to rent an apartment?
AHEAD manages all of our 399 units of affordable housing. Applicants may download an application on our website homepage, stop by our Property Management office at 262 Cottage St (suite 116). to pick up an application, or call (603) 444-1377 to request that one be sent to you.
What do I need to qualify?
AHEAD utilizes a variety of funding sources to develop rental properties and therefore, each property has its own qualifications. Contact the management company of the property you are interested in to see if you are eligible.
Do AHEAD properties allow pets?
AHEAD owned properties accommodate physician approved service animals only.
Is there a fee to apply?
There is no fee to apply for any AHEAD owned property.
Can I have a co-signer?
AHEAD does not accept co-signers on leases. All applicants must individually meet qualifications.
Do you accept Section 8?
Yes! We will need verification of any Section 8 certificate. Applicants with Section 8 certificates must still meet all resident qualifications.
Can I be on a waiting list?
Completed applications are processed as they are received by each management company. If there are no vacant units at the time your application is deemed eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list and contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.
How are income "caps" determined?
Our apartments are built or purchased with requirements to rent them to individuals or families that fall into certain income levels. Those levels are determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD adjusts the income levels or "caps" annually.
Do you provide emergency shelter?
AHEAD only provides permanent rental housing. For emergency shelter you should contact the Homeless Hotline at (800) 852-3388.
Do you provide monetary rental assistance?
Unfortunately AHEAD does not provide any monetary rental assistance. If you are in need of assistance you should contact Tri-County CAP, Catholic Charities, NH Housing, Health and Human Services or your local town welfare office.
Are there agencies like AHEAD outside of the North Country?
AHEAD is a single, private organization; however, we are one of several hundred national NeighborWorks® America organizations. To locate an organization in another area visit the NeighborWorks® America website www.nw.org.
Do I have to be low-income or a first-time homebuyer to use AHEAD's homeownership services?
AHEAD provides homeownership education and counseling to all residents of northern Grafton and Coös Counties regardless of income or prior ownership status.
Can AHEAD provide me with a loan to purchase a home?
AHEAD provides education and counseling to help families become homeowners but we do not provide financing. We partner with local financial institutions that provide the financing.
How soon can I meet with a HomeOwnership Advisor?
Once you have completed our "Secrets of Homebuying" workshop you can schedule an appointment to meet individually with a HomeOwnership Advisor.
Does AHEAD have any funds available to help with the cost of buying a home?
For families that are eligible, AHEAD offers a matched savings program called an IDA (Individual Development Account) which can be used to pay for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses incurred during the homebuying process. There may also be grant funds available through the Equity Builder Program.
Can I buy a house if I have bad credit?
90% of the customers we service have some blemishes on their credit but as long as you are willing to put in the effort our staff can provide you with the tools you need to begin improving your situation. If you think you may have a poor credit history you should begin the homebuying process by attending one of AHEAD's Financial Fitness workshops so that you can begin working individually with one of our HomeOwnership Advisors on your personal homebuying plan.
Financial Crisis or Foreclosure
I am behind on my mortgage payments, what should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact your lender and see what options are available to help you get your payments caught up. The sooner you take this step the easier it will be for you. Avoiding your lender will not make this problem go away. If you would like assistance in working with your lender you can begin accessing AHEAD's services by calling our office at (800) 974-1377 ext. 4010, and doing a short intake over the phone.
If I am behind in my mortgage payments will I be able to keep my home?
Often times when a borrower falls behind in their payments there are steps they can take to get back on track and remain in their home. There are some situations; however, when a homeowner can not afford to get caught up or to make regular monthly payments. In these cases the homeowner must transition to more affordable housing. If this is the case, it is always better for the homeowner to be in control of the situation by listing the property for sale before the lender begins the foreclosure process.
I am unable to pay my rent, are there any resources available to help me?
If you are in need of assistance you should contact Tri-County CAP, Catholic Charities, NH Housing, Health and Human Services or your local town welfare office.
AHEAD Resident Information
Why should I get renters insurance?
In case of fire, flood, earthquake or any other destructive event, AHEAD's insurance does not cover your personal belongings. Renters Insurance is highly recommended for your protection. Contact the NH Department of Insurance for more information about renters insurance.
How do I contact management other than my Property Manager?
In a life threatening emergency situation call 911 Emergency Services. All non-emergency situations and/or requests must first be presented first to your building's Property Manager or other resident staff. In the event that a resident is unsatisfied or uncomfortable with their Property Manager, they may contact Luther Kinney, Director of Property Management at ext. 1022.
You can reach AHEAD Property Management offices during normal business hours by calling (603) 444-1377 ext.1036.
How and when are rent increases decided?
All rents collected on AHEAD owned properties go to meet the operating expenses, maintenance and long-term debt of that specific building. In many instances, rent rates are regulated by city or state loans AHEAD has received to acquire and build (or rebuild) the apartment building. These agreements keep our rents below normal market levels. Each year AHEAD projects expenses for the upcoming year. Then we determine the amount of the rent increase necessary to adequately care for the building's current and long-term needs.
How can residents help keep rents down?
Residents can help keep expenses low by: conserving use of water, recycling efficiently, keeping garbage out of recycle containers, keeping common areas clean and damage free, taking good care of their apartments and just generally taking an interest in the building.
What happens if my income goes up? Will I need to move?
No household living in an AHEAD owned property will be asked to move simply because their income has increased. AHEAD is pleased when residents' financial situations improve.
About AHEAD Development
How are your buildings financed?
Affordable housing requires the financial support of public agencies as well as the private sector. In order to construct or acquire affordable housing, AHEAD borrows money at below-market interest rates, raises equity through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit from private investors (local banks, corporations and individuals), and receives loans and grants from a variety of sources.
How do you start a development project?
New development opportunities occur in many ways: a building or vacant land is listed with a real estate broker, a government agency is surplusing unneeded property, or a property owner wants to donate a building to provide affordable housing. AHEAD then must assess the affordable housing need of the community and determine the zoning and total financial cost to buy the property and refurbish or construct a building. AHEAD then works with an architect to design the apartment while getting permits. Simultaneously AHEAD obtains the financing commitments needed to pay for the building. With financing and permits in place AHEAD then hires a contractor to build the building. From purchase of land to move-in of residents an AHEAD building can take 24 to 36 months to complete.
Do you take non-monetary donations?
AHEAD welcomes donations of all kinds. Besides cash contributions, donations include professional services, land, buildings, stocks and insurance policies. See our Donate page.
Where does the money go?
All donations received are used to further the mission of AHEAD. Specifically, these donations are used to pay for the operating costs of the organization including but not limited to supplies, rent, utilities, salaries and staff training. See our Donate page.