Diverse Housing Stock
Our community seeks to have a balanced and diverse housing stock, providing choice in housing types, affordability, location, and density. Keene’s current balance of owner and renter units is skewed towards rental.
Throughout neighborhoods, rental units are serving large portions of the student population. In order to ensure housing choice and opportunity for all citizens, the community and city leadership will need to encourage and support homeownership and rental opportunities through existing partners that provide appropriate, well-maintained, quality, safe, efficient housing for all portions of Keene's demographic, particularly for its families and professionals.
Since most of the community’s available residentially zoned land has been developed, housing needs have to be addressed through infill development and the rehabilitation and redevelopment of existing stock. Focus should be placed on providing housing choices that meet the needs of young professionals, artists, and executives, which were identified as a current gap in Keene’s housing stock.
Great care must be taken to ensure that existing, stable and livable neighborhoods are not made unstable or unlivable through the addition of significant new housing development. Infill or redevelopment within existing neighborhoods should be built at a scale, density and character consistent with the existing development patterns. For example, in-law apartments or the conversion of a large home into condominiums can fit seamlessly into the built environment, without drastic change to the outward appearance; i.e., the large home could still appear to be a single-family residence. This type of residential infill allows for a change in density, not a change in intensity of residential use, which in turn supports the community’s goal to create a compact, walkable community and provide choice in housing. Areas suitable for future housing growth include downtown and certain surrounding neighborhoods.
Since the community is not expected to grow substantially in population and its housing needs will remain similar to current levels, creative housing solutions, if done well, can contribute greatly to keeping the small-town feel of Keene, while providing more housing choice and allowing people to live, work and play in the same community