New Hampshire is changing and affordable housing is one of the many challenges we face today. Our state continues to deal with a growing shortage of affordable housing both in terms of overall supply and in terms of the appropriateness of the size and style of housing available. The existing housing supply and much of the new housing being built does not align with future demand. The population of New Hampshire is not forecast to grow significantly but the population is aging, a trend that is even more pronounced in Laconia. In fact, New Hampshire’s median age is regularly among the top three oldest states, even older than Florida., According to a 2014 NHHFA study, the aging population is seeking smaller housing units but with access to supportive services to allow them to remain living independently. The housing market has thus far been slow to respond to this trend.
Laconia Housing has been addressing this growing population needing supportive services for 20 years at both Sunrise Towers and the Tavern Inn Apartments. Now, to help meet this need, the new Sunrise House will be the first Laconia Housing project to provide units specifically designed for this population, not just retrofitting of existing apartments. Beyond the new construction and full accessibility of Sunrise House, Laconia Housing has two programs in place (CFI & CHSP) to support lower income residents who can live independently if certain services are provided. These services are far less expensive in this setting than nursing home care while at the same time affording the resident the higher quality of life of independent living.
An additional benefit of Sunrise House is that it will be a mixed income development. Four of the 16 units will be leased to households with moderate incomes. This is a segment of the population that does not qualify for rent-subsidized apartments but typically cannot afford the rent and fees of traditional service enriched living facilities.