Recent polling of New Hampshire voters shows that affordable housing is a major priority. In three separate polls conducted by the University of New Hampshire, Emerson College, and Saint Anselm College, respondents consistently identified housing as a top issue across the state and indicated their support for more affordable housing. Housing advocates plan to use the polling messages to advance housing initiatives in their 2024 state legislative session.
Key findings from the polls include the following:
- New Hampshire voters believe housing is the most important issue facing the state (Granite State Poll).
- All poled voters under the age of 35 agree that there is a need for more affordable housing in their community (Emerson College Polling).
- Seventy-eight percent of voters think their community needs more affordable housing (Annual Statewide Survey of Voter Attitudes of Affordable Housing).
- Sixty-four percent of voters want to see affordable rental options in all communities, including suburbs and rural towns (Annual Statewide Survey of Voter Attitudes of Affordable Housing).
- There was a significant increase in voter support for local land-use regulation reform to allow for more housing compared to 2022 (Annual Statewide Survey of Voter Attitudes of Affordable Housing).
- There was a decline in NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) sentiment compared to 2022 (Annual Statewide Survey of Voter Attitudes of Affordable Housing).
Data corroborates voters’ apparent sentiments about the housing crisis. According to NLIHC’s Out of Reach report, New Hampshire has the 13th highest two-bedroom housing wage ($26.29) in the nation, meaning that a minimum wage worker would have to work 3.6 full-time jobs to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home in the state. Meanwhile, NLIHC’s Gap report shows that just 38 rental homes are available and affordable for every 100 extremely low-income households in New Hampshire, causing more than 76% of these households to be cost burdened.
Housing Action NH, an NLIHC state partner, created a summary of the polling questions pertaining to housing and has been highlighting the results in its meetings with policymakers and other stakeholders and on social media.
“The severity of the housing shortage is clearly generating unprecedented support for more affordable housing solutions,” said Elissa Margolin, director of Housing Action NH. “We look forward to working with policy makers who are ready to respond to voter sentiment and increase housing in New Hampshire.”
New Hampshire does not allow statewide ballot initiatives; however, New Hampshire voters can show their support for affordable housing by electing housing champions for local offices. To check your voter registration and link to information about elections in your state, visit TurboVote. For information on voter education, registration, and mobilization, visit NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes campaign website. Organizations working to engage candidates and low-income renters in upcoming elections may also refer to our Our Homes, Our Votes advocacy toolkit.