[Hpn] NH Homeless face high-rent housing market as lawmakers file bills (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Wed, 14 Feb 2001 20:01:47 -0800 (PST)

http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302 6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/702484441/_k/4KuyETXMa85tByvb FWD Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Feb 12 200 HOMELESS FACE HIGH-RENT HOUSING MARKET CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Several state lawmakers have filed bills to help the homeless, who are having a tougher time finding a place to live in the high-rent housing market. ``When you look at the average rent in Concord being $838 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, a person would have to earn something like $16 per hour to afford an apartment like that,'' said Concord state Sen. Sylvia Larsen. Rents unfathomable a few years ago and an apartment vacancy rate that is under 1 percent in many communities have added the working poor, the elderly, the disabled and even some members of the middle class to the ranks of the homeless. Last year, the 22 state-funded shelters turned away nearly 9,000 people because they were full. There are no empty beds at the 17 privately funded shelters either, according to the state office in charge of assisting the homeless. One out of five of those given shelter is under age 10. ``That 9,000 is just the people who came in. The majority of our homeless families are doubled up and they are afraid that if they go to a shelter they will lose their kids,'' said Cindy Carlson, who works with The Way Home, a Manchester nonprofit agency that assists the homeless. ``It's a myth that people lose their kids because they are homeless,'' Carlson said. Investors are buying up affordable housing, refurbishing it and charging what the market will bear, Carlson said. Manchester area rents have risen by 55 percent over the past few years, she said. Statewide, rent for a two-bedroom apartment averaged $774 in a survey taken by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority last June. The median sale price of housing in 1999 was $183,900 for a new home and $129,000 for an existing one. Carlson sends some clients to New Horizons, an emergency shelter run by a former Manchester police chief, Louis Craig. ``I've got 82 beds, and last night we had 132 here,'' Craig said. ``I've been as high as 148.'' The shelter serves single adults, and directs families to other agencies. Craig added, ``I know of families who live in cellars, cold, dank, dark cellars, and families living in hallways. I know a combined family with four small boys who all sleep in one small bed. This is a great country of ours but for every apartment here now we have about 50 people who want it.'' AP-ES-02-12-01 0216EST Received Id AP10104322704F22 on Feb 12 2001 01:17 END FORWARD **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** Visit HPN for CONSTANTLY UPDATING NEWS on Homeless People: *************************************************************** Over 10,000 articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Been Homeless? Then JOIN! EMAIL Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ***************************************************************