Estimates indicate New Hampshire will need nearly 90,000 additional housing units by 2040
CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire’s Council on Housing Stability recently adopted the State’s Fair Share Housing Production Model’s estimated production numbers, which are based on assessments by the state’s nine Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) and New Hampshire Housing.
The Fair Share Housing Production Model estimates a community’s anticipated housing production need based on that area’s projected population and employment growth; that estimate is that the State of New Hampshire will need an additional 88,395 housing units by 2040.
“The data in the statewide and regional Housing Needs Assessments provide an invaluable foundation for guiding decisions affecting housing production and choice,” noted Rob Dapice, NH Housing’s executive director/CEO. “We now have in-depth reports that examined supply and production, affordability challenges, housing needs, and projected housing demand as the basis for understanding and planning for New Hampshire’s housing needs.”
As required by New Hampshire law (RSA 36:47), each RPC developed a regional housing needs assessment (RHNA), and NH Housing worked with Root Policy Research to conduct a statewide analysis of New Hampshire’s housing market. The RPCs and NH Housing also collaborated with the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) to conduct the assessments, which will inform housing development and needs on both a state and local level. This is the first time statewide numbers will be available to guide communities to reach their local goals, illustrating how the collective impact model can positively shape the future of housing in New Hampshire.
Keene serves as the hub for Cheshire County and the greater Monadnock Region with a population that doubles on weekdays. People frequent Keene for employment, shopping, medical services, dining, and recreation. Due to the limited availability of developable land in Keene, several zoning changes have been made to encourage housing development. These and other actions will provide for densification in the downtown, infill, re-use of property, creation of accessory dwelling units in all neighborhoods, incentives for cluster development, and more.
Keene City Manager Elizabeth A. Dragon noted that having RHNA data to support this statewide objective is essential. “More changes will be required to support the continued growth of Keene businesses and to create housing opportunities for all income levels. Keene is doing what it can to meet our fair share but it is clear that the greater region will play a vital role in any effective, long-term solutions for all.”
As part of the initiative, BEA and the RPCs developed a housing toolkit to provide municipalities with additional resources and information. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding opportunities are also available to support communities seeking to meet their production targets.
The NH Council on Housing Stability, led by the NH Department of Health and Human Services, NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs and NH Community Development Finance Authority, was established by Governor Chris Sununu under Executive Order 2020-22 on November 18, 2020, and includes stakeholders from across the state, including State leadership, local mayors, and a diverse group of stakeholders. Under this order, the Council developed New Hampshire’s first three-year strategic plan to address housing and homelessness. The strategic plan is available at https://nhchs.org/strategicplan/.