Officials: Education, zoning laws are key to housing crisis
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Politicians and housing advocates said at a Monday forum that New Hampshire is facing a shortage of affordable housing, making it harder to attract fresh talent to the state and keep young people from leaving.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude, Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, and Sen. Maggie Hassan along with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, were among the elected officials at the meeting calling for action in what conference officials said is an affordable housing “crisis” in New Hampshire.
“Affordable housing is critical to attracting and retaining young people in our state and supporting our aging population at the same time,” Hassan said.
According to the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, an individual must make over $22 an hour to afford a two-bedroom New Hampshire rental, but on average, renters in the Granite State make $15 an hour.
The conference at Saint Anselm College in Manchester gathered 170 elected leaders, housing authorities and advocacy organization officials to discuss in small groups how the public and private sectors can work to ensure housing affordability in New Hampshire.
A real estate developer who spoke at the forum said that addressing the affordable housing shortage in the state will benefit the New Hampshire workforce.
“I look at it this way: housing brings people, people bring the workforce,” said Dick Anagnost, president of Anagnost Investments. “The workforce brings business and business brings economic development and prosperity.”
This story has been corrected to attribute a quotation to Sen. Maggie Hassan, not Rep. Carol Shea-Porter