Housing unaffordability tops concerns in Stay Work Play survey
Organization sought to measure key issues at start of legislative session
Young people in New Hampshire cited unaffordable housing, lack of diversity, and difficulty meeting new people as the top reasons they might consider leaving the Granite State, according to a survey conducted by the Stay Work Play organization.
Speaking at the organization’s legislative reception held earlier this month in the State House cafeteria, Stay Work Play Executive Director Will Stewart said the issues were identified and prioritized by 307 young people who attended one of nine regional events as part of Stay Work Play’s Policy & Pints Pop-Up Series. The nine events were held across the state between September 2019 and January 2020.
Aimed at helping to inform Stay Work Play’s 2020 nonpartisan, issues-based legislative advocacy efforts, the series brought together young people, ages 21-39, in the various regions of the state to discuss the issues most affecting their decisions to stay in, or leave, New Hampshire as a whole, as well as the specific regions in which they live and work. The top three findings from each region are:
- Greater Concord: Unaffordable housing; lack of diversity; and lack of adequate public revenue
- Greater Manchester: Unaffordable housing; lack of affordable child care; lack of educational funding
- Greater Nashua: Unaffordable housing; lack of diversity; lack of equality in K-12 schools
- Lakes Region: Unaffordable housing; lack of affordable child care; lack of year-round opportunities
- Monadnock Region: High cost of living; lack of young people in politics; over-reliance on property taxes
- Mt. Washington Valley: unaffordable housing; lower wages; difficulty meeting new people
- North Country: Unaffordable housing; lack of quality jobs; lack of environmental protection
- Seacoast: Unaffordable housing; lack of diversity; difficulty meeting people
- Upper Valley: High cost of living; lack of cultural diversity; difficulty meeting people
“Young people in the state said they love the access to world-class outdoor recreation here in New Hampshire, our growing arts and culture scene, and their ability to get involved and make a difference here,” said Stewart. “But young people here are very worried about their ability to afford to live in New Hampshire, as well as our state’s lack of diversity and how challenging it can be to meet new people here. It’s imperative we all begin to address these issues as New Hampshire needs all of the young people it can get.”