Hassan warns of affordable housing crisis in New Hampshire

Senator says fix is ‘critical’ to state’s economy

Citing a study that ranks New Hampshire as the 12th least affordable housing market in the country, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan made two stops last week in the Granite State to drive home the need to tackle what she sees as a crisis in the state.

Hassan met on July 2 and 3 with housing advocates, residents and city officials at affordable housing complexes in Franklin and Portsmouth to highlight the need to tackle the crisis.

During her stops, she mentioned a recent study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition that found that a New Hampshire wage earner would need to make $23.23 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom rental in the state – the 12th highest such wage in the nation

On July 2, the senator visited the Franklin Light and Power Mill affordable housing complex, meeting with residents, city officials and representatives of the complex’s developer, Concord-based CATCH Neighborhood Housing.

A day later, she today visited the future site of the Portsmouth Housing Authority’s Court Street workforce housing project and held a roundtable at the authority’s Feaster Apartments project.

“I hear from businesses across our state that one of their biggest barriers to hiring is a lack of affordable housing options for qualified workers,” Hassan said, adding that development of such housing “is critical to the strength of our communities and our economy.”

At her stops, Hassan said she is working to win approval of a bill that would create a tax credit for renters who live in what she described as “a regular rental.” Under the measure, people whose rent is above 30% of income would receive a tax credit equal to a month of their rental payment.

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