To the editor:

So the valley is losing residents. Seems simple to me. The valley has over 500 STR residential houses. If each of those residential houses were rented to families of let's say four, then you would have 2,000 more people living in the valley and not leaving because there's no place to live.

Have you all seen the ridiculous prices of the homes up there? There's no working family that can afford to live in Conway. Heck, they can come to Florida and live close to the beaches for one-third the price.

Love the valley and loved living there but if things stay the way they are you'll be running out of workers to cater to all the tourist unless housing for families comes back fast.

Honestly, who can afford to live there besides rich out of state people? Hopefully this will be figured out soon and the valley will again be a place for families.

Joe Castiglia

Vero Beach, Fla.

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(1) comment

Thaddeus

Joe, you hit the nail on the head. This is a problem New Hampshire as a whole is already facing but it is particularly acute in "vacation" areas like Conway and the Lakes Region. Gentrification is a real thing and it is happening. When you have an over-abundance of rich out-of-staters who want to buy second homes in your small rural town, the inevitable result is that the working-class people who actually live in the town full-time get priced out. Look at Nantucket. That island is having what they have admitted is a "crisis" because they can't find anyone to work maintenance jobs for the road crews, they can't find firefighters to staff the fire department, and they can't find servers to staff the restaurants. Why? Because only rich people can afford to live on Nantucket anymore, and rich people aren't going to be waiting tables at restaurants or fighting fires for 60 grand a year. And the problem is exacerbated further by the fact that it's not just rich people buying second homes in the Valley - it's also out-of-staters who rightly couldn't afford these seconds homes BUT FOR the fact that they rent them out to other out-of-staters. Which means MORE demand for homes, pushing prices up MORE. New Hampshire needs to figure out that short term rentals need to be restricted, and it needs to figure it out fast, or we're going to become the next Nantucket, unable to function as an independent society because it has no working class.

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