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It’s time to ask the affordable housing question

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary has always provided intimate voter-candidate connection, but this season takes the cake.

Whether it’s at backyard barbecues, bookstore chats, college conferences or small business tours, the candidates seeking our nation’s highest office are here and they are taking your questions.

This is why our affordable housing coalition decided to launch the Our Homes, Our Votes, Our New Hampshire project. It is time for Granite Staters to raise the affordable housing issue and ask the question: What will you do, as president, about the nation’s affordable housing crisis?

The latest data on New Hampshire’s housing costs are sobering. Rents have increased 20% in the last five years and the rental inventory is almost completely full. With a statewide vacancy rate of less than 1%, the supply deficit is creating a market that has become out-of-reach to many.

If our state is serious about addressing its pressing economic needs, then it needs to get serious with policy makers about our affordable housing crisis. It will take leadership from the very top in order to address the housing market challenges in our backyards and around the country.

Affordable housing is built with public-private partnerships. We need larger investments in programs like the National Housing Trust Fund and HOME that incentivize investments.

Affordable housing is built with policy. We need policies that reward building more affordable homes and address the challenges that have created this unfriendly market.

Affordable housing is built with ballots. We need leadership at the highest level to prioritize the affordable housing needs here and around the country.

So next time you’re at one of the many candidate events, raise your hand and ask the question: what will you do to help make housing more affordable?

Elissa Margolin is director of Housing Action NH.


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