Although the lengthy federal government shutdown is still impacting the housing community as they work to catch up with payments and project delays, the final passage of the FY 19 budget brought generally robust funding levels to key programs. At the state level, several promising bills are working their way through the legislature.
The new year brings both opportunity and concern for affordable housing advocacy. At the federal level, the longest government shutdown in American history threatens the stability of tenants, homeowners and property owners connected to HUD and USDA programs. At the state level, there are several promising legislative proposals to help address the shortage of affordable housing.
The end of summer means we can turn our attention to the federal appropriations cycle, local fall conferences, statehouse hearings on bills referred for interim study as well as preparations for the 2019 state legislative session and budget year.
State budget advocacy has been the major focus of housing proponents this legislative session, advocating for a capital budget appropriation into the Affordable Housing Fund and ongoing operating fund support for the state’s homeless shelters and programs.
At the federal level, there is growing concern in New Hampshire and across the country regarding the severe cuts to HUD and USDA rural housing programs proposed in both the FY 17 and FY 18 budgets that would have adverse impacts on thousands of New Hampshire residents.
A severe and growing shortage of housing choices in New Hampshire promises to divert business investments, exacerbate workforce shortages, and limit business growth. While several state and federal housing policy proposals are worth our attention in 2017, New Hampshire’s Affordable Housing Fund provides an opportunity to help change this trajectory. Advocates are now preparing to make our case to the Governor, who called housing one of the state’s economic drivers in his inaugural speech this week, and to the legislature. More details on this and other items follow. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6f449eb054f9419b0f5fcee35&id=d24aca6c3e
Housing Action NH is currently accepting resumes for a contract Engagement & Communications Manager. Click here for details on the position and how to apply.
This annual report, published by the NH Coalition to End Homelessness, analyzes and contextualizes data from this year’s Point in Time count and the Dept. of Education’s count of homeless NH school children. Link to the report here.
Looking for more state and federal data? Find our sector’s most important reports, containing data you can use to advocate for more affordable homes and ending homelessness under the “Data Resources” section of our website.
The 2016 Out of Reach report shows NH families are struggling to plug a gap between what they earn and what it costs to keep a roof overhead.
The statewide “housing wage,” the income a household needs to to be able to afford rent and still have enough left for necessities like food, transportation and childcare, is now $21.09. With a Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment running $1,097, even families making the median renter income of $14.08/hour are paying more than they can afford on rent and utilities. For families working at minimum wage, affording rent means 116 hours must be spent working each week.
Home Matters in NH Week is a time to celebrate the victories and strides we’ve made by working together to bridge the affordable housing gap and end homelessness in NH. It’s also a time to assess remaining challenges and barriers, and discuss promising new approaches to help ensure everyone in NH has a place to call home.
This week, we will present the Home Matters in NH Award in three separate categories: Legislators, Advocates, Media. All legislators and Housing Action NH members are invited to our 2016 Award Ceremony Wednesday, April 13, 8:30 AM at the Statehouse Cafeteria.
Please watch for more announcements in your email inbox, your Facebook and Twitter feeds (#HomeMattersinNH), and here on our website as we draw attention to this important topic this week!