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Housing in Durham: The Housing Committee!

Housing in Durham is a multi-part series exploring the issue of affordable and workforce housing in Durham. In case you missed it, here's part one, part two, and part three.

We spent a lot of time talking about housing in Durham last year! It's no secret that New Hampshire is in a housing crisis: housing costs have outpaced wages and demand has eclipsed supply. As a result, younger people are struggling to find a place to put down roots; employers are dealing with a workforce shortage; and empty nesters looking to downsize face some hurdles.

Durham's leadership has opted to be part of the solution. We're part of the region, after all, and housing is a regional thing. Toward the end of 2019, the Economic Development Committee took a step forward, voting to create a Housing Committee. Durham's new Housing Committee was modeled after Exeter's Housing Advisory Committee. In fact, Exeter happily invited members of Durham's Economic Development Committee to sit in on a meeting and ask questions!

The new Housing Committee, which will function as a subcommittee of the Economic Development Committee, will spend 2020 collecting data, drafting a report to town leaders, and crafting recommendations for steps forward. How can Durham promote a diverse and adequate supply of housing to meet the needs of future generations? We're going to find out!

The mission of the Housing Committee, to identify, analyze, and develop recommendations regarding current housing availability and future housing needs, will serve leaders serving on Town Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board, and other town boards and committees, as a valuable resource.

With the help of Community and Environmental Planning students at the University of New Hampshire, our work will begin with a thorough investigation of Durham's current housing stock.

Stay tuned here for more updates from the Housing Committee and, in the meantime, if you're interested in joining the committee and being part of this process, please complete this application today!

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