Union Leader Covers Center's NH Housing Survey

August 3, 2021

By Jason Sorens

Rick Green has covered the Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics' second annual New Hampshire Housing Survey for the Union LeaderHis story gets reactions from Center director Jason Sorens, New Hampshire nonprofit developer Carmen Lorentz, and political scientist and author Kathleen Einstein. A selection:

Jason Sorens, director of the Center for Ethics, said there now appears to be a growing realization that new houses are needed to provide places for working people to live and to support business and the economy.

“We design our statewide polls with neutral questions on a variety of housing issues to elicit voters’ attitudes from many aspects,” he said of the second annual housing survey, released July 22. “This survey shows that voters want new, inexpensive homes even in their own community.”

Still, an agitated crowd of homeowners opposed to change can hold sway over local governmental boards considering new homes and apartments.

This phenomenon is seen throughout New England and across the nation, said Katherine Einstein, a political science professor at Boston University, one of three authors of “Neighborhood Defenders.”

“We were interested in people who show up to public meetings because, for the most part, that’s how housing development gets approved, hearing from members of the public and how they feel,” she said. “What we found is that the people who show up are privileged, whiter, older, homeowners, who also overwhelmingly opposed development, with only 15% who showed support.”

Read the whole thing here.