Housing is a hot issue. In NH and throughout the country, scarce available housing and rising costs are putting a strain on families and hindering businesses from recruiting and retaining workers. Many residents face additional housing related barriers including young people, recent immigrants, low-income households and individuals experiencing homelessness. Impacts from the region’s housing challenges are rippling through our communities. Throughout 2022, Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) will address these issues head on as part of our Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). This initiative take an in-depth look at the housing needs of our Region across ALL income levels. The RHNA will provide a foundation for addressing the region’s housing needs by including alternative tools, recommendations, and strategies that can work for communities of all sizes and types.
Community engagement will be critical for this project, and we are hoping to hear from you! What are the housing needs that impact you, your business, or your community? If you work in the housing industry, what successes and challenges have you or your organization experienced? Tell us what you think works and what doesn’t.
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The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is a state-mandated requirement for all nine regional planning commissions in New Hampshire per RSA 36:47.II. The purpose of the RHNA, which is required to be updated every five years, is to assess “the regional need for housing for persons and families of all levels of income.” As NRPC gathers housing-related information for the Nashua region of New Hampshire, we are working in coordination with the other NH regional planning commissions and the State Office of Planning and Development to leverage each other’s resources and advance a unified approach to determine housing needs across the State. Our work will include gathering and analyzing datasets on housing and socio-economic demographics from the US Census and other sources. We also plan to collect information from the general public and local and regional experts, such as planning boards, developers, social service agencies and property managers. Outreach strategies include surveys, on-one-one interviews, focus groups, and conversations on the topic of housing in our Region. The 2022 RHNA will weave quantitative and qualitative data together to tell the story of housing in our Region. The final report will contain tools, strategies, and recommendations for local decision-makers to address the housing crisis in our Region.