Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a person to
be “homeless” if they are

1) staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing, or

2) living in a place not meant for human habitation such as on the street, in a camp, in a car, or in an abandoned building.

HUD defines someone who is “chronically homeless” as either,

(1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, or
(2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least
four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

2014 NH Homelessness Assessment

    • The one-day count revealed 2,210 homeless individuals across the state.
    • This represents a 14% decrease in the number of homeless individuals from 2013 (2,576 individuals).
    • Of that number 1,241 were sheltered (nearly the same as 2013);
    • 394 were unsheltered (down 11% from 2013);
    • 575 individuals were temporarily doubled up (temporarily residing with family or friend, a 35% decrease from 2013);
    • 358 were families (which is a 14% decrease of families that were homeless in 2013).
    • Also, of the 1,664 adults surveyed, 39% (642) self-reported a severe and persistent mental illness, 33% (555) reported having a substance abuse issue, 13% (209) were veterans, and 33% (544) were chronically homeless.
    • In Carroll County:
      • Sheltered: 25 individuals and 13 individuals in 6
        families
      • Unsheltered: 4 individuals and 3 individuals in 1
        family
      • Temporarily doubled-up: 1 individual

Governor’s Interagency Council on Ending Homelessness

According to the New Hampshire’s plan to end homeless the chronically homeless
comprise 10% of all homeless persons in the state, but consume 50% of available
homeless resources.

The NH Coalition to End Homelessness has the goal of eliminating the causes of homelessness through research, education and advocacy.

Concord created a Plan to End Homelessness that explains some of the factors contributing toward homelessness.

Affordability

    • For the homeless and for those threatened by homelessness, wages earned are not keeping pace with the cost of housing.
    • Data from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority found that the median rent for apartments in Concord during 2013 was $873 for a one bedroom apartment, $1,068 for a two bedroom apartment, and $1,257 for a three bedroom apartment.
    • NH Housing Finance Authority also surveyed 2013 vacancy rates in the city and determined that 2.9% for all housing units were vacant and only 1.4% of two bedroom apartments were vacant.
    • The National Low Income Coalition has calculated that to live in a two bedroom apartment with utilities in Merrimack County and without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a person would have to make $19.69 per hour. At the area’s mean wage rate of $10.91 an hour, it would take 1.8 people working full-time to make such an apartment affordable.
    • At the minimum wage in New Hampshire of $7.25 per hour, it would require 2.7 persons working full-time to make a two bedroom apartment affordable.
    • Over the last ten years rental prices have increased more than 24% statewide and utility costs have jumped 57% (NH Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services)
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