The Role of Nonprofits In Addressing N.H.'s Affordable Housing Needs

Jun 4, 2019

This mill in Franklin was converted into an affordable housing complex, with 45 apartments.
Credit CATCH Neighborhood Housing

To some extent nonprofit organizations address the affordable housing shortage differently from the private sector, from financing construction to the relationships they maintain with residents.  We examine the role of nonprofits in addressing the scarcity of affordable housing that affects individuals, families, and the state's economy, as businesses seek workers who need affordable homes. 


GUESTS:

Rosemary Heard,  President and CEO of CATCH Neighborhood Housing.  

Dean Christon,  Executive Director & CEO of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority

Michael Claflin,   Executive Director of Affordable Housing and Education Development (AHEAD),
based in Littleton. 

Related Reading

As BusinessNH reports, in recent months, the N.H. Housing Finance Authority, the Business and Industry Association and regional workforce housing coalitions have participated in summits on the shortage of workforce housing, which is exacerbating the ability of N.H. businesses to attract new workers. 

The Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics in Business and Governance explored the state's affordable housing challenges in 2018, gathering more than 150 developers, business leaders, property managers, and service providers to discuss possible solutions.     

In Franklin, as reported by the Concord Monitor, CATCH Neighborhood Housing oversaw the renovation of an empty mill into one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rent under $900 a month.  Among the challenges: the cost of land and of construction.  Among the solutions: piecing together multiple funding sources. 

According to this Curbed story nearly two-thirds of renters nationwide say they can't afford to buy a home and home prices are rising at twice the rate of wage growth.  Among the factors: Demographics. Baby boomers are staying in their homes, or, in some cases seeking smaller, less expensive homes, thereby competing for entry-level homes. 

Report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University: The State of the Nation's Housing 2018

According to this piece in the Washington Monthly, the number of nonprofit housing organizations has increased substantially: In the mid-1960s, there were roughly 100 local nonprofit housing organizations. By 2005, there were approximately 4,600. Some now operate on a regional or even a national scale.