By REDC Housing Program Intern Antonio Serna
Your business has developed a community of devoted patrons, each of which feels truly valued working with you. Your ability to work quickly coupled with the aura of pride that surrounds the services you provide makes you stand out amongst the competition. As your business grows, you begin to hire new employees; however, you begin to feel the impact of New Hampshire’s housing deficit on your workforce.
New Hampshire’s housing market has grown worse over the years, with its overall supply failing to keep up with demand and costs rising. For a business to be successful, its employees need to have stable housing. However, because of the housing shortage that currently exists, employees are having a difficult time obtaining this security, which hurts the business community. Here are some tips to help your employees secure safe, affordable housing.
Know Your Rights
If an employee feels they are being mistreated or taken advantage of by their property owner, point them in the direction of New Hampshire Legal Aid, which outlines the rights of tenants on their website: https://nhlegalaid.org/self-help-guides/housing/tenants-rights/tenants-rights
New Americans cannot be denied housing assistance under a public charge rule. A public charge is defined as a person who is
“primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as shown by either the receipt of public cash assistance or institutionalization for long-term care at the government’s expense” (NHLP, 2020).
Although many government welfare programs can be denied to those deemed a public charge, housing assistance is not one of them. If an employee needs financial assistance, they may be eligible for the following three programs: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance, and Public Housing.
Next, I will share some helpful resources for finding housing in New Hampshire!
If your employee has the financial means to obtain housing but is unsure of where to start looking for vacancies, the following sources may help.
*For each website, you can search by town and/or city
Facebook Marketplace: The Facebook Marketplace has property rental and ownership listings.
Town Facebook Group: It may be helpful to join your town’s local Facebook Group, which may have posts from members trying to sell or rent their property. There are also two major Facebook rental groups for the seacoast and southern areas, the Seacoast Housing & Rental Site and Southern New Hampshire Rentals groups.
Craigslist: Has rental listings, https://nh.craigslist.org/
If your employee needs financial assistance in order to obtain housing or is a first-time homebuyer, they should reach out to New Hampshire Housing.
New Hampshire Housing offers application assistance for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, as well as homeownership and mortgage lending assistance. You can also search for rental housing using New Hampshire Housing’s search for housing tool.
If your employee is a first-time homebuyer, direct them to New Hampshire Housing’s homeownership programs. New Hampshire Housing provides counseling to first-time homebuyers, as well as mortgage programs!
If your employee is in need of financial assistance, direct them to New Hampshire Housing’s rental assistance programs. If they’re not sure where to start, they should contact New Hampshire Housing. Employees in need of financial assistance, may also contact their town’s welfare department or the closest Community Action Partnership organization.
REDC's Housing Program
Learn more about REDC's housing program at https://www.redc.com/housing. We are available to help municipalities in the region interested in exploring housing affordability, availability, and diversity through their land use regulations. REDC offers housing design charrettes, technical assistance, informational presentations, advocate trainings, documentary screenings, and more.