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Governor Chris Sununu, State Officials, Business Owners Hold Press Conference to Promote InvestNH Housing Fund
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu, Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell, and local business owners held a press conference to highlight the importance and need for Governor Chris Sununu's historic $100M InvestNH Housing Fund that will go before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee at their April 15, 2022 meeting.
A recording of today's press conference can be viewed and downloaded here.
"As New Hampshire's population grows and our economy gets stronger, workforce continues to be a top challenge — and the number one barrier is housing," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Our InvestNH Housing fund will incentivize towns to build more housing, break down barriers at the local permitting level, and grow our economy, our tax base, and bring businesses in."
"While businesses continue to see expansion and growth, our state unemployment rate has dropped to 2.5% and our vacancy rate is under 1%," said Business and Economics Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell. "This combination is a significant threat to our economy and makes this one time investment of $100 million critical and our best opportunity in a generation to address this crisis."
According to 2021 statistics from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, the statewide two bedroom vacancy rate was 0.6%. A vacancy rate between 3%--5% is considered healthy. Statewide median gross rents have increased 24% in the last five years.
Attendees at today's press conference included:
- Chris Sununu, Governor, State of New Hampshire
- Tayloy Caswell, Commissioner, Department of Business and Economic Affairs
- Mike Skelton, President, Business and Industry Association
- Brien Murphy, Vice President, Boyce Highlands
- Mike Somers, President, NH Lodging and Restaurant Association
- Sim Willey, Owner, Hart's Turkey Farm
- Brian Ferguson, Proprietor, Flag Hill Winery
- David Nichols, MilliporeSigma
- Jim Alden, Owner, Chutters
- Rich Kelly, Holiday Inn Concord
- Sherry Ferns, Concord Courtyard Conference Center
- Troy Bergeron, Hilton Garden Inn Portsmouth
- Ross Boisvert, Vice President, McIntyre Ski Area
A breakdown of the $100 million InvestNH Housing Fund can be found below:
Grants for Municipalities ($40 million)
- A $30 million municipal grant program will provide cities and towns with $10,000 per unit, up to a total of $1 million per locality, will incentivize towns to address housing shortages in their communities by offering highly flexible grants.
- $5 million planning/zoning grant program will provide resources to cities and towns to update or expand pro-housing planning and zoning regulations
- $5 million demolition grant program will assist municipalities with financial resources for the demolition of vacant or dilapidated buildings.
Grants for Owners and Developers ($60 million)
- $50 million for development grants for nonprofit and for-profit developers and owners to assist with costs in building new multifamily (5 or more units) projects.
- The program will have a preference for projects that increase affordable rental units in place for lower and middle income workers to support our health care and child care providers, machinists, teachers, and others.
- Funds may be used for reimbursement of construction/hard costs only, and will be the last funds in.
- Applicants must demonstrate a project investment that is at least a dollar-for-dollar match to the requested State grant.
- Projects will be expected to complete their project plan within InvestNH deadlines.
- The application will open in June, allowing developers to take advantage of this funding in the 2022 construction season.
- The remaining $10 million will be allocated to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) for deployment into their programming, such as the HOME Investment Partnership Programs and the Affordable Housing Fund.