Gafney Homes moves closer to return as seniors living facility

Staff reports 7:12 a.m.

Gafney Homes moves closer to return as seniors living facility

Betsey Andrews Parker, CAPSC CEO, background left, explains the progress they've made in refurbishing the Gafney Home for senior living. (Courtesy photo/City of Rochester)

ROCHESTER - Community Action Partnership of Strafford County hosted a walkthrough of the Gafney Mansion on Wednesday for Rochester elected officials and staff to review the upcoming remodel for senior housing.

In May of 2019, the Gafney Home was transferred to the nonprofit with the intent to create senior housing. Over the past three years, CAPSC developed a long-term plan that included renovating the existing buildings and adding an elevator to create new affordable senior housing in the former Gafney Home mansion. In 2022, CAPSC was awarded $4.2 million of low-income housing tax credits through the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. Renovations will begin this fall. The building's first residents are estimated to move in during the late summer/ early fall of 2022.

"We have been working extremely hard with our partners to align the funding and contractors needed to bring the Gafney Home back online while also maintaining its important history and mission," said Betsey Andrews Parker, CAPSC CEO. "We are excited to have this project come to fruition after COVID-19 delays and challenges with supplies."

"CAPSC's mission is to serve the residents of Strafford County that are experiencing income instability, including the elderly," added Andrews Parker. "Using the property as part of our service delivery program for the Greater Rochester area helps CAPSC to provide fuel assistance, transportation, nutrition programs, and housing services to elderly clients. Creating senior housing is an extension of the mission of CAPSC. Moving forward, plans for this property include additional senior housing, a social service delivery center, and potential future programming based on community needs." .

The Gafney Mansion was built in 1894. Ten years later, Judge Charles B. Gafney donated the mansion to be used as a home for elderly individuals experiencing unstable incomes, and more recently as an assisted living facility. After 115 years of service, the Gafney Home Board of Directors decided to permanently close its operations as a nonprofit assisted living facility.

In May of 2019, Gafney Home was transferred to CAPSC. To preserve the history of the home, the name "Gafney Home" will remain, and CAPSC will continue to collaborate with historical committees in the City of Rochester.