CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Two years after New Hampshire’s 13 mayors sent a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu asking for help with a strategy to assist the homeless, eight wrote back Tuesday requesting that federal funds be allocated for more shelter beds and resources, with an emphasis on women and youth.
They said the state’s systems of care for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are not meeting the needs of communities.
Sununu’s office responded that New Hampshire has three programs under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development coordinating needs in Manchester, Nashua, and other cities and towns. Each program has to provide its own services and resources as outlined in their plan to HUD.
Sununu’s office said in 2022, the state made several “unprecedented” investments in affordable and emergency housing, and shelters, including an additional $4 million and $1 million to the Department of Health and Human Services, saying it has provided nearly 350 additional shelter beds statewide.
Mayors from Manchester, Berlin, Franklin, Dover, Nashua, Somersworth, Claremont and Laconia signed Tuesday’s letter to Sununu, DHHS Commissioner Lori Weaver and Associate Commissioner Christine Santaniello.
A council created in 2020 and tasked with addressing broad issues around housing affordability and stability in New Hampshire seeks to increase housing availability by 13,500 units by 2024.