Workforce Housing

When residents live and work in the same community, there are lasting positive impacts. People have more time to be involved in civic life, support local businesses, and invest themselves in the long-term health of the community. They save money and reduce environmental impacts from commuting. Local employers benefit, too, when their employees have stable housing they can afford.

Vital Communities stewards a network of business, municipal, nonprofit, and community leaders focused on meeting the Upper Valley’s workforce housing needs.

Our Corporate Council of regional business leaders is committed to making progress on workforce housing, an issue of critical importance to our communities and economy. We also host a Business Leaders’ Breakfast on Housing each spring and fall.

If you have questions, suggestions, or just want to connect, please email us. Want to help support efforts for workforce housing? Make a donation to Vital Communities today.

Photo: Twin Pines Housing‘s Safford Commons

Upcoming Events

Fall Business Leaders Housing Breakfast

Photo by Molly Drummond

Friday, October 26, 2018

Breakfast Buffet and Networking 7:30 am

Presentations 8 am – 9 am

Fireside Inn and Suites, West Lebanon

Please register here.

Each spring and fall, business and community leaders from throughout the greater Upper Valley region convene for semi-annual Business Leaders Housing Breakfasts. The event, hosted by the regional nonprofit organizations Vital Communities and Twin Pines Housing, brings leaders together to better understand the housing market in the region and the role of workforce housing in vibrant local economies and communities.

Dartmouth College geographer Garrett Dash Nelson will present the regional nature of our housing challenge and current possibilities for change. Vital Communities will be encouraging each attendee to participate in a local planning meeting in the next 3 months.

You will also hear the latest on the Upper Valley home purchase and rental markets from Buff McLaughry of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty and Lynne LaBombard of Housing Solutions Real Estate.

This event is generously sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

A $10.00-$20.00 donation at the door to support Vital Communities’ housing program is encouraged.

Community Conversation on Housing in Lebanon

Monday, November 5, 2018

5:30 – 8:30 PM

Light meal provided

Upper Valley Senior Center
10 Campbell St
Lebanon, NH

Please register here.

Housing and the Future of Lebanon:

What types of housing does Lebanon need to have a thriving community for all those who live and work here?

A community conversation
hosted by
The City of Lebanon, the Greater Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, Vital Communities and the Upper Valley Regional Planning Commission
Supported by
New Hampshire Listens

Past Events

Can Accessory Dwelling Units Help Meet Our Region’s Housing Needs?

 

 

 

 

 

ADU expert Kol Peterson presented the opportunities and challenges of Accessory Dwelling Units on Thursday, October 4, at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon

Video of the event is available here, at the Facebook page of Bob Farnham.

Kol Peterson’s slides are available here.

 

An accessory dwelling unit is a simple and old idea: having a second small dwelling right on the same grounds as (or attached to) your regular single-family house. An ADU can provide an affordable place for you or others to live, can be designed for your needs, and can provide rental income.

You can see many examples and learn more about ADUs at www.buildinganadu.com, including building costs, an explanation of construction contracts, sample site plans and floor plans, and a look at appraisal considerations.

Kol Peterson’s book is available at Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.

This event was generously sponsored by AARP and  New Hampshire Housing, who has published a helpful Homeowner’s Guide to Accessory Dwelling Units to help you think through questions about ADU construction and ownership.

About 50 community members came together at our May 31 conversation on Housing and the Future of Claremont to discuss how we are affected by housing options and conditions in Claremont, then to consider topics to focus on and create recommendations for action. We were successful! Find out more in this brief but detailed Summary of Findings, prepared by NH Listens.
The group collectively identified four key topics for action:
  • Housing quality and types
  • Planning and growth management
  • Zoning and code enforcement
  • Community pride and reputation

Recommendations developed in small groups during the conversation are detailed in the summary document.

What Comes Next?

The City of Claremont has obtained a New Hampshire Municipal Technical Assistance Grant to support many actions identified in three of the four topics: housing quality/types, planning and growth management, and zoning and code enforcement. The City has this established this project as a priority over the next 10 months.

Healthy Vibrant Claremont is taking the lead on efforts to enhance community pride and reputation. Healthy Vibrant Claremont is also stewarding a community-based lead abatement effort.
Current Opportunities to Get Involved
  • Share this news! Please pass this email and information along to others.
  • Claremont Housing Initiative Steering Committee. The Planning Board will be forming a Steering Committee to shepherd the project from public outreach to final proposed changes to City Code. Claremont residents who want to participate in this important project should email or call City Planner Mike McCrory (mmccrory@claremontnh.com, 603.504.0347) to get involved.
  • Healthy Vibrant Claremont. To get involved with Healthy Vibrant Claremont’s work on community pride and reputation, call or email David Putnam (davputnam@comcast.net, 603.504.8679).
  • Habitat for Humanity is creating a Claremont chapter. People who are interested in providing leadership for this good work for their community and their fellow citizens are encouraged to contact project manager Don Derrick (don.derrick@uppervalleyhabitat.org, 603.277.9135) and find more details online.
  • Lead Paint Challenge. Habitat for Humanity is putting together a team that would become certified, licensed, and capable of dealing with the issues of lead paint in older dwellings. If you’re interested in helping with the project, consider joining the now-forming steering committee. Contact Don Derrick (don.derrick@uppervalleyhabitat.org, 603.277.9135) to join.
Finally, a big THANK YOU to all of the engaged citizens who attended, from the hosts of the evening’s conversation: New Hampshire Listens, the City of Claremont, the Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce, Healthy Vibrant Claremont, the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, and Vital Communities. We are tackling a tough issue together, and we can’t do it without you!

Get the Presentations from the Spring 2018 Business Leaders Housing Breakfast:
Residential Construction in the Valley: Market Analysis and Ongoing Projects
Real Estate Market Update Spring 2018

Each spring and fall, business and community leaders from throughout the greater Upper Valley region convene for semi-annual Business Leaders Housing Breakfasts. The event, hosted by the regional nonprofit organizations Vital Communities and Twin Pines Housing, brings leaders together to better understand the housing market in the region and the role of workforce housing in vibrant local economies and communities.

Upcoming Events

Friday, May 11, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Each spring and fall, business and community leaders from throughout the greater Upper Valley region convene for semi-annual Business Leaders Housing Breakfasts. The event, hosted by the regional nonprofit organizations Vital Communities and Twin Pines Housing, brings leaders together to better understand the housing market in the region and the role of workforce housing in vibrant local economies and communities.

(Upcoming
5/31 Event)

Friday, May 11, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

History

Receiving Mascoma Bank Award

UVHC received a 2015 Leadership Award from the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: UVHC former Executive Director Anne Duncan Cooley, George Reagan of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, and Corb Moister of UVHC.

In November 2001, more than 200 business, municipal, and civic leaders attended a Workforce Housing Summit which explored the scarcity of available housing for families earning less than $75,000 per year. An Upper Valley Housing Needs Analysis indicated that if nothing changed, the 3,000-unit housing shortage for this group would triple by the end of the decade. With this problem in mind, a variety of local employers, faith community members, and nonprofit organizations formed the Upper Valley Housing Coalition (UVHC) to advocate for systemic change and create an environment favorable to the development of “workforce housing” near jobs.

UVHC attracted more than 200 volunteers from every sector of the region and formally incorporated as a New Hampshire nonprofit organization in 2003. From 2003 through 2009 UVHC was housed at Vital Communities, which also served as a fiscal sponsor. Anne Duncan Cooley joined the organization as its second Executive Director in May 2004. In August 2010 UVHC received its exemption from income tax under section 501c3. In 2015, UVHC received a Leadership Award from the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce.

For nearly 17 years, UVHC pursued its vision: that Upper Valley residents will be able to live in the communities in which they work. However, in early 2018, the UVHC Board of Directors voted to dissolve the organization’s operations. Vital Communities is now spearheading some aspects of the work formerly coordinated by UVHC.

What's Happening at Vital Communities

Vital Communities Staff