Governor Chris Sununu
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
CC: Commissioner Taylor Caswell
RE: ARPA Investments in Housing Production for New Hampshire December 15, 2021
As you finalize your priorities for the Coronavirus Recovery Funds, Housing Action NH urges you to allocate $100 million to the NH Affordable Housing Fund. The severe shortage of housing is adversely impacting the economic vitality of our state; exacerbating workforce shortages, hampering business growth, and increasing 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 investments with these federal resources.
Housing advocates are grateful for your leadership on the housing issue. The Council on Housing Stability created by your Executive Order has fostered unprecedented collaboration across agencies and sectors. Your 2019 Housing Task Force’s policy proposals are now Housing Action NH’s number one priority for the 2022 legislative session. In order, however, to really address the dearth of housing supply, New Hampshire must incentivize the housing market and leverage investments into housing development. Finally, it’s notable that all of the other New England states have already made major production investments with these resources.
STATE INVESTMENT USE OF FUNDING
Governor Mills and the Maine legislature allocated $50 million to build more affordable workforce housing and $50 million for home energy efficiency upgrades for renters and low-income seniors. Additionally, Maine allocated $10 million to support homeless shelters and $1.5 million to support housing navigators.
Governor Scott proposed $249 million for housing. Vermont’s legislature approved $94 million in Fiscal Recovery Funds to provide housing and increase shelter capacity. Their FY22 budget also provides $5 million for the Vermont Housing Incentive Program.
Governor Baker proposed $1 billion for housing. The Massachusetts legislature has approved:
For a full report on housing investments around the country from Coronavirus State and Local funding, see https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/ARPA_State-Local-Housing.pdf.
Governor, as you know, the Council on Housing Stability’s Strategic Plan calls for the development of 13,500 new housing units for the Granite State in the next three years. The Coronavirus State and Local Recovery funding offers 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.
Thank you for your serious consideration.
Elissa Margolin, Director, Housing Action NH
PO Box 162 Concord, NH 03302 housingactionnh.org