“Alexa Carpenter: NH’s Housing Crisis: a product of vocal NIMBYs and a silent majority” is misleading and wrong.
First of all, Carpenter typically cites a Saint Anselm College poll with the claim that “two-thirds of New Hampshire voters agree that their community needs more affordable housing.” Keep in mind that this is really only 2/3 of perhaps 300 or 400 individuals polled. It is in NO way 2/3 of 1.3M voters, or the population of NH as she suggests. Were those polled given the details about how this would be accomplished? Probably not.
Carpenter apparently doesn’t understand how NH works. People in each town VOTE yearly on zoning as to whether they want it or not. Thousands of voters in my town are hardly a “minority”. The town meeting vote is the purest, closest form of democracy. Yet she doesn’t fail to pull out all the old leftist canards about race, class and “status quo” and how unfair it all is. Additionally, she spreads misinformation about “losing young people” when NH is statistically the state with the most young people moving to it.
She admits that “85% of development meeting attendees are opponents” which tells you that the poll she cited is invalid. She ignores the fact that single-family zoned neighborhoods like mine are already quite diverse. Somehow, it seems that once a minority is a successful homeowner, they are no longer considered diverse.
I’m guessing Carpenter probably doesn’t own her own home, but pretty sure she would be highly disappointed if she were to purchase a home in a single-family zoned neighborhood and then wake up one morning to find an apartment building going up next door.
Most towns arrange their zoning into three types: commercial, mixed- or multi-use, and single family. This is normal and expected and makes sense for property values and lifestyle choices. If you can’t yet afford to live in the single-family zone, it’s not the state’s duty to steal from the taxpayers to make it so you can. Zoning issues are part of the local control that our Governor claims to support and should remain that way.
The state should not be picking and choosing businesses to support, namely developers who get OUR tax money to seed huge stack’n’pack projects, then given 10 years of tax-free status while they collect huge rents. This practice places the extra tax burden on the single-family homeowners. This makes the dream of home ownership even more difficult. Had HB 44 passed to allow 4 units in a formerly single-family zoned neighborhood with public utilities, the next target would have been ANY single-family neighborhood, virtually eradicating that type of zoning for good.
Sadly our Republican NH Senators and Governor have fallen for this nonsense which is basically a form of Obama’s AFFH. That’s right, and worse, we fear they’ve finagled a way to get SB 231 ($75M cost) passed even though the House would likely kill it.
Write to your legislators and the Governor and express your outrage. NH will just be an extension of Massachusetts if we don’t stop SB 231 in its tracks.
Note: The 3-person state Housing Appeals Board (HAB) is even more dangerous than the new “Land Court” and must be repealed.