This Friday, in my role as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, I’ll be moderating a discussion on a challenge in Portsmouth that continues well more than a decade after it became an issue:  the economics of housing (affordable, workforce, and otherwise) in Portsmouth.

For those who have not already RSVP’ed, this Friday, February 5th, you’re invited to our monthly gathering of the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce for a special discussion on the state of housing in greater Portsmouth. It is in the center of public discussion entering 2016, with members of the newly-sworn in Portsmouth City Council already proposing big ideas related to the limited supply of land and housing in a small city continuing to experience very high demand.

The impacts of market forces, land use regulations, and regional economic and demographic trends all contribute to the price, diversity, and supply of housing. Various community groups are engaged in understanding these factors, and Chamber members have expressed a strong desire to be a constructive part of this community deliberation.
As the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee, I’ve invited a cross-section of community leaders to have an informational discussion on this topic this coming Friday. It would be great if you are able to participate.  The details are as follows:
DATE:  Friday, February 5th
TIME:  8:00 to 9:30 am
WHERE:  Strawbery Banke’s Tyco Visitors Center
PROGRAM: Free-wheeling conversation will include comments from City Planner Rick Taintor; Portsmouth Transportation Manager Juliet Walker; Portsmouth Housing Authority Executive Director Craig Welch; Workforce Housing Coalition Board Chairman Kim Rogers; and a number of local elected officials, members of Portsmouth land use boards, leadership from locally-owned banks, and local leaders in the property development and business community.
 
– For planning purposes, it would be greatly appreciated if you could RSVP by emailing to steve.r.marchand@gmail.com. There will be coffee and light food offered.
We typically meet on the first Friday of each month, focusing on an impactful issue to the community.  Following this meeting, our next Government Affairs meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 4th at the same time and location.  Upcoming topics will including parking and transportation policy; specific, concrete steps the business community can take to help address the opioid crisis; and strategies and opportunities related to Portsmouth’s significant tourism industry.
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