A statewide housing advocacy organization is calling on Gov. Chris Sununu to allocate $100 million federal pandemic-related aid to bolster the state’s Affordable Housing Fund.
In a letter addressed to the governor, Housing Action NH Director Elissa Margolin cited how the current housing shortage is impacting New Hampshire’s economy, which has made matters worse for workforce shortages and increased homelessness. “A $100 million investment in the Affordable Housing Fund will help spur housing development, create more homes affordable to NH’s workforce and help New Hampshire compete with nearby states that are making major housing investment with these federal resources,” said Margolin.
According to Margolin’s letter, nearby Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine all received multi-million-dollar funding to use where their communities needed it most. In Maine, Governor Mills and the Maine legislature allocated $115.5 million to build more affordable workforce housing, make home energy-efficiency upgrades for renters and low-income seniors, and support homeless shelters and housing navigators. Vermont used around $94 million in fiscal recovery funds to provide housing and increase shelter capacity. In Massachusetts, $600 million was approved by the legislature to address similar issues throughout the Commonwealth.
According to Margolin, “In order to really address the dearth of housing supply, New Hampshire must incentivize the housing market and leverage investments into housing development.”
If approved by the New Hampshire legislature, Margolin says the the $100 million in funding would offer “New Hampshire the unprecedented opportunity to make a one-time major investment in housing infrastructure through the Affordable Housing Fund that will benefit our state for years to come.”
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