By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

May 7, 2021

By 2030, the Upper Valley region will need to triple the pace of home building and conversions to meet projected demand from existing and future residents, according to the collaborative Keys to the Valley initiative. About one-third of the region’s households are cost burdened by paying more than 30% of their income for their housing. With the region’s aging population and declining average household size, these trends suggest a path forward that preserves existing homes, encourages new homes, improves housing affordability and fosters diverse, smaller housing types. 

Keys to the Valley is being undertaken by three regional planning commissions – the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission of New Hampshire, and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional and Mount Ascutney Regional Planning Commissions of Vermont. The three commissions, sometimes called the “Tri-Commission”, cover 67 communities on both sides of the Connecticut River of the greater Upper Valley.

“The lack of housing is our largest business problem,” explained Kevin Geiger, senior planner at the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission. “While some businesses will be able to hire remote workers, most will still need employees that are actually here, and that new hire won’t be able to live here if they can’t find a house.” 

In addition to a host of interactive web-based materials, a series of live webinars about the project will run through June 2021.  Next Wednesday's webinar at noon, May 12, will focus on how land use regulations impact homes and strategies to better provide the homes needed now and in the future. Click here to register