[Hpn] The "Out of Reach Report" and the Housing Shortage

wtinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sun, 22 Sep 2002 08:36:36 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0069_01C26213.299163D0
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


----- Original Message -----=20
From: Morrison03817@aol.com=20
To: letters@theunionleader.com=20

To the Editor,

       I was shocked to read this morning in your Editorial that the =
Union Leader is acknowledging a shortage of rental housing and a need to =
build more units.  It is a very encouraging sign.
       However, your criticism of the National Low Income Housing's =
"2002 Out of Reach Report" is way off track.  The "Out of Reach Report" =
is one of the most highly respected surveys of its kind.  It is meant to =
give a basic dollars-and-sense perspective of what the rental housing =
market looks like to a person of limited income.  It attempts to show =
this in a way that someone who may not have rented, or who may not have =
attempted to make a budget work on minimum wage, would understand.
       The findings of this report are consistent with the findings of =
the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, which documented that =
over nine million American's pay more than 50% of their income for =
housing, when the federal government defines 30% as fair-market-rent.
       It is also consistent with the New Hampshire Housing Finance =
Authority's 2002 Rental Housing Survey, which shows a statewide median =
two-bedroom rent of $885., with median rents over $1000 in the southern =
parts of the state.
       If these rents are not startling enough, requests for shelter in =
the state increased 32% in the last year.  In a shelter system already =
at capacity, this resulted in a one-year 48.5% increase in turnaways.  =
Calls to the New Hampshire Homeless Hotline increased 54% in the same =
period.  The top reasons given for being homeless are evictions and =
unaffordable rents.
       Your reference to advocates convincing developers to build more =
housing is a tremendously misleading statement.  Developers are =
attracted by financial or tax incentives, of which advocates do not =
directly control.  They are also discouraged by local zoning barriers, =
which require an inordinate amount of time and expense, for an uncertain =
outcome, which we also don't control.  It is our role to call attention =
to the needs, the barriers, what works and what doesn't.
       Affordable housing was not a major issue when it was seen as "the =
homeless", which was not "us"; then it grew to the waiters and =
housekeepers in the hotels which also was not "us"; then to the =
teachers, police and firefighters in our towns which also may not have =
been "us"; then a neighbor with an unforeseen crisis; then children or =
parents who couldn't afford to live near "us".=20
       The amount of housing needed will take many years to fund, plan, =
and build.  I hope that it doesn't have to get too much closer "us" =
before we act?=20

Roy Morrison
Coordinator
NH Coalition to End Homelessness
P.O. Box 688
Manchester, NH  03101

603-498-0189 
------=_NextPart_000_0069_01C26213.299163D0
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.50.4919.2200" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">
<DIV style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; font-color: black"><B>From:</B> <A=20
title=3DMorrison03817@aol.com=20
href=3D"mailto:Morrison03817@aol.com">Morrison03817@aol.com</A> </DIV>
<DIV><B>To:</B> <A title=3Dletters@theunionleader.com=20
href=3D"mailto:letters@theunionleader.com">letters@theunionleader.com</A>=
 </DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV></DIV><FONT face=3Darial,helvetica><FONT lang=3D0 =
face=3DArial size=3D2=20
FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF">To the =
Editor,<BR><BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I=20
was shocked to read this morning in your Editorial that the Union Leader =
is=20
acknowledging a shortage of rental housing and a need to build more =
units.&nbsp;=20
It is a very encouraging sign.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
However,=20
your criticism of the National Low Income Housing's "2002 Out of Reach =
Report"=20
is way off track.&nbsp; The "Out of Reach Report" is one of the most =
highly=20
respected surveys of its kind.&nbsp; It is meant to give a basic=20
dollars-and-sense perspective of what the rental housing market looks =
like to a=20
person of limited income.&nbsp; It attempts to show this in a way that =
someone=20
who may not have rented, or who may not have attempted to make a budget =
work on=20
minimum wage, would understand.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
The=20
findings of this report are consistent with the findings of the Joint =
Center for=20
Housing Studies at Harvard, which documented that over nine million =
American's=20
pay more than 50% of their income for housing, when the federal =
government=20
defines 30% as fair-market-rent.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
It is=20
also consistent with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority's 2002 =
Rental=20
Housing Survey, which shows a statewide median two-bedroom rent of =
$885., with=20
median rents over $1000 in the southern parts of the=20
state.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If these rents are not =
startling=20
enough, requests for shelter in the state increased 32% in the last =
year.&nbsp;=20
In a shelter system already at capacity, this resulted in a one-year =
48.5%=20
increase in turnaways.&nbsp; Calls to the New Hampshire Homeless Hotline =

increased 54% in the same period.&nbsp; The top reasons given for being =
homeless=20
are evictions and unaffordable =
rents.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=20
Your reference to advocates convincing developers to build more housing =
is a=20
tremendously misleading statement.&nbsp; Developers are attracted by =
financial=20
or tax incentives, of which advocates do not directly control.&nbsp; =
They are=20
also discouraged by local zoning barriers, which require an inordinate =
amount of=20
time and expense, for an uncertain outcome, which we also don't =
control.&nbsp;=20
It is our role to call attention to the needs, the barriers, what works =
and what=20
doesn't.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Affordable housing was =
not a=20
major issue when it was seen as "the homeless", which was not "us"; then =
it grew=20
to the waiters and housekeepers in the hotels which also was not "us"; =
then to=20
the teachers, police and firefighters in our towns which also may not =
have been=20
"us"; then a neighbor with an unforeseen crisis; then children or =
parents who=20
couldn't afford to live near "us". =
<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The=20
amount of housing needed will take many years to fund, plan, and =
build.&nbsp; I=20
hope that it doesn't have to get too much closer "us" before we act? =
<BR><BR>Roy=20
Morrison<BR>Coordinator<BR>NH Coalition to End Homelessness<BR>P.O. Box=20
688<BR>Manchester, NH&nbsp; 03101<BR><BR>603-498-0189=20
</FONT></FONT></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_0069_01C26213.299163D0--