"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Word on Workforce Housing

New Hampshire passed workforce housing legislation in 2008.
In a publication from the Londonderry Planning Department  per RSA 674:58-61  "All citizens of the state benefit from a balanced supply of housing which is affordable to persons and families of  low and moderate income. Establishment of housing  which is decent, safe, sanitary and affordable to low and moderate income persons and families is in the best interests of each community and the state of New Hampshire, and serves a vital public need. Opportunity for development of such housing shall not be prohibited or unreasonably discouraged by use of municipal planning and zoning powers or by unreasonable interpretation of such powers."
What does this have to do with Moultonboro? The law requires every municipality "to provide reasonable and realistic opportunities for the development of workforce housing, including rental housing". There is a complicated formula to determine if a community has met the legal requirement. It takes into account  median income and the assessed value of residential properties.
According to the law , to be considered affordable a family can't spend more than 30 percent on a mortgage, property taxes and insurance. No more than 60 percent of a family's income can be spent on rental housing or on a rental property. Senior housing and housing with fewer than two bedrooms can't be considered workforce housing. Why is this important now? Because of two processes currently underway. One is the Village Vision Committee and the other is the master plan rewrite. Both have the potential to impact Zoning Ordinances and we  have not yet had a conversation as a community  about workforce housing. Perhaps we should.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

With all the rental properties in Moultonboro I find it hard to believe we need workforces housing.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

The references are to zoning ordinances, not entitlement programs!

Let us not make a legal remedy, a problem.

"... if the municipality has done all it can reasonably do by implementing reasonable lot size and density requirements and allowing multi-family housing, it will not be deemed in violation of the law..."

" The municipality also is not responsible for natural features that may make development impossible, nor is it required to compromise on matters of health, safety or environmental protection to make housing affordable. "

http://www.nhmunicipal.org/TownAndCity/Article/131

If workforce housing is needed ... funding ...
Are "seasonal" workers factored in ... domiciles vs. residents ...

http://www.nhmunicipal.org/TownAndCity/Article/543

Housing Finance Authority RSA 204-C

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XVII-204-C.htm

Ya ... a guide is needed ... a Sherpa guide for the legal/political mountains to climb

http://www.nhhfa.org/about-us-public-notices-hearings.cfm

GUIDEBOOK:

http://www.nhhfa.org/housing-data-workforce-housing-challenge-guidebook.cfm

Let's Stay Free said...

In years past, Moultonboro has complied with the testing the WF act requires, and has been in compliance. Get off the waterfront, and you will see many small houses, bungalows, manufactured homes, trailers; and most are well maintained, as they are individuals homes, and they are proud of them. It is difficult to maintain that pride when the government comes in to help.

Anonymous said...

Moultonboro has NEVER done the analysis required in law in part because it is afraid to mind out how far out of compliance it is and the blow-up it will cause from the dedicated anti-government types. There is a serious shortage of affordable housing for many of our hard working people.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 12:12. Does that mean we will be building public housing in addition to the Village Vision, Gym Phase 1 through ?, Sidewalks galore, Access Roads, new States Landing Rec Area, Village Pubic Water and Septic, new playing fields and don't forget that the update asked last year (only if you had children) whether the town should be in the daycare business and should it be free. I figure a $100 million should cover the needs for the time being.

Never ? B S said...

Posted 12:12. Think the testing is Voluntary? ?
Is your government housing up to your standards?
As I am just keeping up with my mortgage, taxes, and repairs......and you want me to pay yours also?

Retired Leper said...

"There is a serious shortage of affordable housing for many of our hard working people."

Amen.

Nothing has been done about this here in Moultonborough other then lip service by one selectmen.

Our town planner does jack shist about this.

Oh, we got 'nodes' coming up - but the 'nodes' do nothing except restrict property.

Sad that so many view the ordinary worker as some sort of leper.

This town does need a dedicated serious approach to this subject and an advocate for such.

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Anonymous said...

Dear Retired Leper. i don't many view the ordinary worker as lepers. There are not many jobs in the area. A number of well established (twenty and thirty years old) businesses in the area have closed in the 2000s. The aging Moultonboro population means there is not enough year-round business due to the snowbirds. Several landscapers import workers from Puerto Rico and provide housing for them while they are here. They are not well paid by NH standards but earn much more here than they could at home. It is very expensive to build here. Rental properties with multiple units offer the best return to the owner. I don't think the town discriminates against multiple housing units, it is just no one in the private sector wants to build them here unless they are intended as assisted living facilities "rented" at five thousand per month and up. To me, it comes down to do we build and facilitize in hopes of attracting the population some desire or should those wanting more opportunities for their families (lower rent, public or low cost gyms, etc) move to an area that is more to their liking.

Anonymous said...

Realtor.com indicates there are a number of homes under $200,000 for sale in Moultonborough.

American Dream said...

Yes, there is a "number". But that number is small if one subtracts the seasonal camps, docks, and land.

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter, yes, there are many rental properties in Moultonborough, however, many of those properties are only available September/October through May. Most working families can not find another place to live for 3-4 months, or afford to pay the weekly rental costs that homeowners can charge during the summer months.