Center Update (July 2020): Why Housing?

By Max Latona | July 28, 2020

Our Housing We Need Initiative





Dear Friends of the Center for Ethics,

This month's update is focused on the Center's Housing We Need initiative. You might well wonder: why did the Center for Ethics choose housing as one of its priorities?

The answer is simple: the shortage of housing is one of New Hampshire's most urgent ethical issues. Our collective neglect of our own need for more homes is self-destructive to our communities and businesses, a failure of hospitality to our own community members in need of housing, and an injustice to those who lack affordable living space. In short, it is a serious problem that affects almost every individual, business, and community in NH.


Strangely, the Center's recent statewide poll showed that most New Hampshirites agree that we need more workforce housing. And we have plenty of developers willing to work with communities to provide the housing that they need. So what's the problem?

The problems are local: restrictive zoning, burdensome regulations, and a pervasive “not-in-my-backyard” attitude. This must change. It will change. Stakeholders from across N.H. gathered in roundtables last December at the Center’s 2nd Annual Housing We Need Forum and generated 10 Priority Recommendations. We are committed to working with our dedicated partners across the State to implement these recommendations.

Below are some of the latest Housing We Need projects we are working on. We look forward to your assistance and support!



Max Latona, Ph.D.

Executive Director 






The Center welcomes Richard Rothstein for a virtual webinar about his book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with local community leaders.







Do the best-functioning cities grow organically through the market process, or do we need comprehensive planning to make sure we get the right kind of development? Come see a robust exchange of views among some of the top scholars and researchers working in this field nationally, and learn about what it all means for the future of New Hampshire.








We recently released the results of our initial statewide survey of voter attitudes toward the New Hampshire housing crisis. Nearly 500 residents responded, and 63% reported that their own community needs more affordable housing to be built.








In last month's webinar, experts among Saint Anselm faculty and alumni discussed the housing shortage, as well as our individual and communal obligations. The full webinar is available for replay.








Stakeholders from across N.H. gathered in roundtables last December at the Center’s 2nd Annual Housing We Need Forum and generated over 150 recommendations that have recently been boiled down to 10 Priority Recommendations.