There is a very significant need for additional charitable and lower cost shelter and housing for distressed people in our communities.
Review of various sources of information indicate that there are a substantial number of homeless and near homeless people in our area. The near homeless includes for example, individuals who are couch surfing, living with friends or relatives without a permanent secure location and abused women living in shelters. Other groups of distressed people include the very large number of people who are very low income and paying up to or more than fifty percent of their income on housing. Our research concluded that there were about 800 single parents with 2,300 children living in poverty in Hartford and Lebanon combined. While the number of homeless is very hard to determine definitively, its a good estimate.
Battered women deserve all the help we can give
There are an estimate 600,000 homeless veterans in the country and they also live here,
Potential increased need. We project that there will be an increase in need for all social services in the near future as the effects of Covid-19 ripple through the economy.
The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism recently published “Housing Crisis About To Explode” setting forth the upcoming housing crisis of more evictions, more foreclosures and much more homelessness in New Hampshire.
Our prior analysis indicates to us that there are a substantial number of individuals and families in the proposed market area that are living in poverty or distressed situations. Nearly every town or city in the area has individuals and families in poverty: there are concentrations of poverty in some of the towns and cities.
This proposal is premised on that analysis. We believe that in spite of the efforts of many individuals and organizations that a Community Fund can provide additional resources that can have a significant measurable effect to increase well-being.
- The need is demonstrated by:
- Information from the 2010 census showing that approximately 34,000 or 10% (13,000 in Vermont and 21,000 in New Hampshire) of the population of 340,000 in the six counties live in poverty. Census information also shows unemployment at 4.9% in Vermont and 5.2% in New Hampshire. The very strong implication here is that many live in poverty who are working at a below living wage rate.
- The poverty level in the Upper Valley of Vermont is about 8.5 Percent (3,500 people) and that the poverty level in this area of New Hampshire is about 8.9 percent (6,000 people) or a total of 9,500 people. Poverty is concentrated in certain communities such as Claremont, Newport, Lebanon, Hartford and Springfield.
- Information from www.statehealthfacts.org states that about 12% of New Hampshire children and 17% of Vermont children were living in poverty in 2010. The effects of growing up in poverty can have a lifelong pernicious effect. The Fund plans to have programs focused on young people.
- Affordable housing is in very short supply according to studies by the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional planning Commission in 2000 and 2010. The Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission in its recent Housing Needs assessment estimates that there is a need for 1,600 to 1,900 workforce housing units in this area in the next ten years which at $150,000 per unit amounts to $240,000,000 in capital outlay just in the Upper Valley area. It also states that there is very little housing available that fits the budget of low income individuals and families. Financing for affordable housing is very scarce because of cutback in Federal Housing funds.