What is the Primary Barrier to Affordable Housing?

By Hannah Beaudry | June 23, 2021

Brick apartment building

In May 2020, the Center for Ethics released its first New Hampshire housing poll, the results of which shed light on the question: What are the barriers to affordable housing in the state? The poll indicates that, while NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) is a persistent barrier to affordable housing, there is another barrier that looms even bigger: reluctance from voters to change planning and zoning laws in their towns. Even some people who say they support affordable housing in their community will simultaneously express this reluctance. An article in the Manchester Ink Link discusses this issue and cites the Center's poll and subsequent report.

While there is overwhelming support for affordable housing and rapid permitting of proposed housing developments, according to a statewide poll conducted by the Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics in Society, many communities are still putting up roadblocks to such development.

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