Overall Homelessness Declines, Yet Significant Challenges Remain


December 18, 2019

For more information, contact: Cathy Kuhn – 603.641.9441 x251

Overall Homelessness Declines, Yet Significant Challenges Remain

NH Coalition to End Homelessness Releases its 2019 Report on Homelessness in NH

MANCHESTER, NH – On December 18, 2019, the NH Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) released its ninth report on the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire. This report, using data compiled from state and federal sources, provides an overview of trends and an understanding of the scope of homelessness at statewide and county levels from 2017-2019.  Overall, the number of people in New Hampshire experiencing homelessness decreased by five percent during this time period.  However, regional variations exist with four of the ten counties seeing increases in people experiencing homelessness.

The report, which can be accessed here, also contains data indicative of the health of the state’s housing market. The overall vacancy rate is the lowest it has been in ten years, decreasing to 0.8 percent in 2019. Conversely, the median rental rate for 2-bedroom units was measured at $1,347, a seven percent increase from 2017. Median renter household incomes have also risen during this time period to a statewide average of $41,783, but poverty guidelines indicate this is not enough to cover the rise in rental rates and still leave individuals and families with enough money left over for other necessary expenses. 

“The lack of affordable housing remains a major problem for people experiencing homelessness as well as those who are at risk of homelessness,” said Cathy Kuhn, Director of the NHCEH.  “A housing market characterized by increased rents and extremely low vacancy rates makes it challenging for anyone to access affordable rental housing, and is particularly difficult for those with the lowest incomes who may face other disadvantages that may hinder housing stability.” 

The NH Coalition to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of eliminating the causes of homelessness through research, education, and advocacy. For more information about the NHCEH or the State of Homelessness in New Hampshire Report, visit www.nhceh.org or call 603-641-9441.