Letters: Three stories, one problem



In the span of 24 hours stories in three New Hampshire news outlets, on ostensibly three different subjects, collectively pointed to an increasingly greater threat to New Hampshire’s economic future.

Here in InkLink, one story focused on the skyrocketing price of single family homes in New Hampshire. As Maureen Milliken reported, “the median sales price in April for existing homes [rose] to $515,000….” Rockingham and Hillsborough counties led the state with median sales prices of $647,750 and $525,000 respectively.

Meanwhile WMUR reported on the New England Real Estate Journal Summit, leading the story with comments about New Hampshire aspiring to become a global hub in the emerging technology of biofabrication, an “industry that’s producing human organs, cells and tissues for transplants.” However, both Dean Kamen and Manchester Mayor Jay Ruais emphasized the need for the area to be ready and welcoming to the young professionals being recruited to make that vision a reality. The foremost issue raised by speakers at the summit: the need for affordable housing.

Rounding out the trio was NH Public Radio’s report of the fate of SB-538, “a bipartisan bill meant to make it easier to build housing in the state.” Notwithstanding the critical short-term and long-term needs for affordable housing highlighted in the other two stories, “a group of 170 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted to kill the bill in the House Thursday.” The bill previously had passed the Senate unanimously, with all 14 Republicans there voting for the bill.

Economic growth in NH will stagnate if our housing crisis is not addressed. Clinging to old ideas or embracing NIMBYism will leave New Hampshire behind as other states continue to grow. The NH House did the entire state a disservice and it’s one that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, before the future slips away.

James Costello

Letters to the Editor is a recurring feature. Submissions are welcome for consideration. You can submit them via this link.