The New Hampshire Council on Housing Stability (Council) has released its 2022 Annual Report and Year in Review, highlighting progress made towards realizing the goals, objectives and implementation activities outlined in its three-year Strategic Plan adopted in June 2021. The Council is advancing its goals through focused workgroup activities, new collaborations, supporting innovative programs, raising policy considerations, creating unique funding opportunities, and elevating the voices of individuals with lived experience.
The Council continues to collaborate with stakeholders across the State of New Hampshire to create housing stability for all citizens. Impacts aligned with the Council’s goals and objectives achieved from November 2021 through November 2022 include:
- InvestNH funded $60,000,000 to support the development of affordable housing.
- New Hampshire’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP) expended over $239 million to help more than 23,600 New Hampshire households remain in their homes by making payments to property owners and utility companies.
- The Affordable Housing Incentive Program moved 149 individuals into permanent housing, opening more than 58 shelter beds on the Seacoast, moving 5 individuals out of places not meant for habituation, and diverting 39 individuals out of unstable housing situations since January 1, 2022.
- Funded through a two-year, $2.2 million grant through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), The Youth Success Project (YSP) collaborated statewide, growing into a larger organization comprised of young people who have experienced homelessness and housing instability in New Hampshire without a parent or guardian.
- The first New Hampshire Housing Caucus was established within the Legislature to educate and inform lawmakers on New Hampshire’s housing and homelessness issues.
- Supported regional community conversations in Concord, Laconia, Lebanon, Haverhill and Keene, as well as a statewide Housing Stability Summit, to help increase collaboration, identify opportunities and challenges, and connect statewide strategies with community needs.
- Months of regional collaboration, surveys, workshops, and stakeholder interviews are leading to the completion of New Hampshire’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment. The results will provide local decision-makers with tools, recommendations, and strategies to address housing issues in their communities. The assessments are anticipated to be completed in March 2023.
Looking ahead, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, Katherine Easterly Martey, notes, “There are a number of new collaborations and solutions emerging to support the critical work of addressing housing stability in New Hampshire. We also know there continues to be a great deal of work ahead of us. The Council maintains its dedication to making New Hampshire a state where all our community members have safe, healthy and affordable housing options.”
During the Council’s January 2023 meeting, an analysis was presented of New Hampshire’s housing needs and data trends, “How Much Housing Does NH Need?,” based on reports that will be released in March 2023. The statewide Housing Needs Assessment, to be published by New Hampshire Housing, will provide an assessment of the state’s housing market, housing needs, and projected housing demand. Additionally, each of the state’s nine Regional Planning Commissions conducted their own Housing Needs Assessments, which were a collaborative effort among the commissions, the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, and New Hampshire Housing. All the studies emphasize the critical need to add additional housing units in order to stably house New Hampshire’s current and projected population.
The number of housing permits issued in the state over the years is a key indicator that construction of both single-family and multifamily units is not meeting demand. Ben Frost, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Legal Officer at New Hampshire Housing, notes, “During the longest economic expansion in the nation’s history, New Hampshire has been building at recessionary levels. This is economically unsustainable for our state. We need to be building more housing for our state’s current and future workforce.”
The Council will continue to document the impact of its work on homelessness and housing stability, while elevating the voices of those with lived experience, collaborating with local communities, and aligning strategies to have the greatest impact on the State of New Hampshire.
Governor Christopher Sununu established the New Hampshire Council on Housing Stability in November 2020. The Council brings together a broad base of diverse stakeholders from across the state. It is co-led by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, and the Community Development Finance Authority. The 2022 Annual Report and Strategic Plan can be accessed on the Council’s website: www.nhchs.org.
Contact: Melissa Latham, CDFA, email@example.com / (603) 717-9107