NH Business: Fred Kocher sits down with Taylor Caswell to discuss NH’s proposed $100 million affordable housing effort



>> WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS. I AM FRED KOCHER. NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS A $100 MILLION INVESTMENT IN WORKFORCE, AFFORDABLE WORKFORCE HOUSING WILL HAPPEN STATEWIDE, BUT NOT WITHOUT– AND TO REDUCE DEMAND, AT DONE, BUT NOT WITHOUT LAST-MINUTE RESISTANCE IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE. HERE’S THE PROBLEM. THIS IS HOTHW E THE MONTHLY RENT HAS INCREASED BETWEEN 2011 AND 2021, ONLY 24% OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS. AND WLEHI RENT INCREASES ARE USUAL, VACANCY RATE IN APARTMENTS IN NEW HAMPSHE, IR BELOW 1% THROUGHOUT THIS CHART. THIS MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO FIND AN AFFORDABLE RENTAL, WHICH CONSTRAINS THE GROWTH OF NEW HAMPSHIRE’S WK FORCE. NOW WITH ME TO TALK ABOUT THE PROPOSED 100 MILLION STADTE INVESTMENT IS THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMISSION, TAYLOR CASWEL L. WELCOME, COMMISSIONER. >> GOOD TO SEE YOU. >> BOREEF WE ARE LOOKING AT THE SPECIFIC INVESTMENT. WHERE DO COMGIN’S 100 MILLION COME FROM? >> IT’S 100 MILLION ALLOCATION FROM THE US RELIEF PLAN AND FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND US TREASURY. THE STATE RECEIVED APPROXIMATELY A BILLION DOLLARS IN THESE FLEXIBLE FUNDS JUST A YEAR AGO. >> NOW, AS YOU, ME AND THE PUBLIC WATCH THIS BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE $40 MILLION IN GRANTS AND MUNICIPALITIES, SOME OF ITOR F’S ZONING UPDATES AND BRIEF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER, HOW IT WILL WORK. ARE ALL COMMUNITIES, REGARDLESS OF SIZE, ELIGIBLE AND WHAT CAN BE FUNDED? >> ABSOLUTELY, ALL COMMUNITIES ARE FULLY ELIGIBLE. THIS IS A STATEWIDE ISSUE AS YOU SIGNED IT ABOVE. WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET RESOURCES INTO OUR COMMUNITIES TO ASSIST THEM WITH SOME OF THE COSTS OF ADDING HOUSING TO THEIR COMMUNITIES. APPROVED IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CITY. STATE GRANT MONEY THAT IS FLEXIBLE TO USE FOR THEM, BUT WORKS BEST FOR THIS COMMUNITY. AND AS YOU HAVE NOTED, THERE ARE TWO OTHER PROGRAMS WITHIN THE MUNICIPAL GODET, WE CALL IT, FOR ZONING AND DEMOLITION WORK. >>THE’SRE 60 MILLION FOR OWNERS TO HELP WITH THE COST OF BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AS YOU KNOW HOW WILL IT WORK ON THE PURPOSE OF NEW HOUSING TO ADD INVENTORY INSTEAD OF REHABILITATING HOUSING OLD? >> YES, THIS FOR NEW RENTAL HOUSING AND MULTI-FAMILY PROPERTIES, TYPICALLY ON A MINIMUM OF THREE OR FOUR UTSNI. THIS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO LANDLORDS AND HOUSING DEVELOPERS WHO HAVE AGREED TO COMMIT TO THE AFFORDABILITY OF TSEHO UNITS EQUIVALENT TO WHAT IS AFFORDABLE RENT FOR AN INDIVIDUAL OR FAMILY AT 80% OF THE LOCAL AREA’S MEDIAN INCOME. AND THAT THESE FUNDS ARE REALLY GAP FUS, AND THESE ARE FUNDS THAT WILL HELP ACCELERATE TTHA PROJECTS CURRENTLY IN THE PIPELINE, THAT ARE LOCKED DOWN FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER. IT COULD BE INFLATION, IT COULD BE LABOR COSTS, WHATEVER THEY MAY BE. WE WANT TO USE THE RESOURCES TO MOVE RAPIDLY AND HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON THE AVAILABILITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE STATE. >> AS YOU KNOW, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME RETURNS, RECENTLY WITH SOME PROVISIONS, IN SENATE LAW 400. AND WITH SOME MEMBERS OPPOSED TO WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DEVELOPMENT AND ZONING MANDATES. WOULD THIS BE A PROBLEM? >>THE PROGRAM USING FEDERAL RESOURCES TO FUND WAS INTENDED TO HELP, I CALL THEM VOLUNTEER COMMUNITIES. AND ENJOY WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEIR COMMUNITY, THE DIVERSITY OF POPULATION AND ADDING MORE DIVERSITY OF AVAILABLE HOUSING, TO HELP TIRHE LOCAL EMPLOYERS, HELP THEIR EMPLOYEES FIND A PLACE TO LIVE WHETHER YOU ARE IN THE NORTH COUNTRY OR IN OUR URBAN CENTERS, IT’S THE SAME PROBLEM AND IT’S REALLY THE NUMBER ONE CHALLENGE FOR US RIGHT NOW, ECONOMICALLY IN THE STATE, WE HAVE THE WORKFORCE, WE HAVE THE JOBS. WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE ACCOMMODATION RIGHT NOW AND IT’S REALLY WON TO MAKE A BUMP INTO THIS. >> AND WE HAVE BEEN REPORTING IT HERE ON NEWHAMPSHIRE AFFAIRS NOW FOR YEARS. AND SO IT IS GOOD TO SEE THIS KIND OF INVESTMENT TAKING PLACE AND I HOPE IT HAPPENS SOON THAN LATER. COMMISSIONER, TAYLOR CASWELL, THE COMMISSIONER OF THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, THA NKYOU. >> GOOD TO SEE YOU, FRED. >> AND IF YOU WERE PART OF THIS STATE INITIATIVE. GO TO

NH Business: Fred Kocher sits down with Taylor Caswell to discuss NH’s proposed $100 million affordable housing effort