When the Master Plan Steering Committee worked on the Housing Chapter last year, we saw a lot of data about housing costs, rental availability , incomes and more. Much of it was focused on Moultonboro and being able to offer affordable housing for younger families, both rental and purchasing.
I don't have hard data, but in casual conversations with two young women that have stable jobs and stable home life, living in this region can be very expensive. One has two children and one has three. Both are struggling with a fundamental problem living in the lakes region: affordable rentals for anything larger than 2 bedrooms. One is paying $1,800 (Laconia) plus heat and all utilities per month and the other $2,200 ( Moultonboro) heat only included. Neither family above is able to save much money and quite literally live paycheck to paycheck.
It would be far less expensive for both to be homeowners, but both feel shut out of the housing market.
According to the data provided by the NH Housing Finance Authority contained in the Master Plan Housing chapter, the median cost in Carroll County for a three bedroom rental unit is $1,281. We did find that getting accurate rental data was difficult to come by, and the need for a comprehensive survey was recommended.
Food for thought mostly, but I believe this is an area that needs to be explored regionally as the population ages and the need for related services increases significantly. There is no one simple answer, but in the coming years, it will go from a serious problem to a crisis.