What is the Monadnock Housing Roundtable?
The Monadnock Housing Roundtable serves as a forum for discussing housing challenges facing the Monadnock Region and what we want to do about those challenges. Participants include real estate professionals, developers, municipal staff and officials, representatives from social service organizations, citizen advocates, and more. We’re always looking to welcome new perspectives to the table. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in joining the discussion.
The Roundtable is still in its beginning stages of exploring what it wants to become as a group or organization and what its priorities should be. Interested in getting in on the ground floor and helping us chart a vision for the future? Now is a great time to get involved!
Why do we need to talk about housing?
There is growing recognition among community members in the region that a shortage of housing options is weighing down our economy, harming businesses’ ability to recruit employees, and a placing financial hardship on many working and middle-class families. This sentiment is backed up by the data. Over the past couple of years, rental vacancies have hovered in the range of 1-2%, well below the 5% that’s recognized as an indicator of a balanced market. About half of all renters are “cost-burdened,” paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. The inventory of homes for sale continues to fall and sale prices continue to climb, often beyond the means of first-time homebuyers.
Even for those of us who aren’t directly experiencing housing challenges, this is an issue that affects all of us. It impacts whether schools can recruit teachers to teach our children, whether hospitals can find staff to take care of us when we’re sick, and whether restaurants can hire employees to serve us food. Creating housing options the meet the needs of all of our neighbors makes our communities stronger as a whole.
How did the Roundtable get started?
The group grew out of an event held in late 2019 by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce to highlight housing as an important regional issue. Recognizing a need for continued collaboration and multi-sector dialogue, Southwest Region Planning Commission facilitated formation of the Monadnock Housing Roundtable and continues to organize meetings. Since then, the group has been meeting virtually throughout the pandemic, which underscores the fact that the need to address the region’s housing challenges has become only more apparent during the public health emergency and economic downturn.
Get in touch! We’re happy to discuss your particular housing-related priorities and how they might connect with the work of the Monadnock Housing Roundtable