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"Hopefully, everyone locally, from workers to town government, will see what we are planning to do here as a good thing," said Parker, originally from Connecticut and a frequent summer visitor growing up at his grandparents’ home in Wolfeboro. He and Judy — who was born in China — are factory consultants in that country, a place they call home for much of the year.

According to the Fairfields, every unit has a microwave and mini refrigerators and that many also have kitchenette already. Many upgrades are being done to the rooms, with the goal being to provide a safe and quiet living environment for workers seeking housing.

"Workers shouldn’t have to drive from Gorham or other places to work here in the valley. We want to provide a place for local workers, and I am hoping that people driving to work from farther away will be looking for something more permanent and will try and stay here," said Parker. "The goal is to continue to make it a little nicer — we have already replaced a few water heaters; and we’ll be doing more."

The Fairfields visited the region two years ago and returned again last summer, accompanying their two teenage sons who were enrolled in nearby summer camps. They have frequently visited the region, coming for three-to-four-week visits every four months.

It comes down to basic economics: landlords can get $800 or more a month from a longterm rental, or $150 a night. In summer, her own property in Fryeburg is rented 80 percent of the month of July so even if only 20 days are rented, that’s still a good return.

“We have had long-term situations where more often than not people move in as two or three friends or a young couple, and someone moves out two months later and they cannot afford the rent and you go: now what happens? But,” said Leavitt, “when that happens, or if someone loses his or her job (or whatever the challenge is), if you’re up front and honest (as a tenant) and you’re a good landlord, and there is a good communication, you can work your way through it. So, it takes reasonable people on both sides. Communication is the key.”

• Rebecca Lynn Pittman: Most places in the valley do not pay more than $10 or $11 per hour and yet renting a single bedroom apartment is still upwards of $800 or $900 a month. I’ve said this 100 times, you can bring as many jobs as you want into this town without affordable housing, you’ll never find enough people to work those jobs.

• Jesse Mixer: I think the opening of the Pandora’s box of outlets, Walmarts, 99’s and other corporate/part time jobs has had a huge impact on the economy in the valley. Most jobs here max at $12/hr — $15 if you are really lucky. The combination of low wages and the boom of vacation rentals/airbnb has all but destroyed the affordable housing market. … There is a reason the youth leave this area.

• Katelyn Tibbetts: I’m a single occupant and the only options for me are 1 bedrooms with nothing included for $800+. I am a single person with other bills to pay. How does someone expect me to afford to live for nearly $1,000 going into just an apartment before my car, insurance, loans, food, and gas? … This area doesn’t attract anyone to come here with crap wages and sickly high rents and don’t even get me started on buying a home when the taxes are so high and the value of the homes are nowhere near where the home is actually worth.

• Colleen Cormack: In our business (4 Our Kids Recycling Services) we are seeing more and more people turning their family properties into vacation rentals. Or people from away having just purchased a property with the intention of using it for a vacation rental. I can’t say I blame them, there is good money in it, but I fear the problem of affordable housing is worsening and I wonder where actual full-time residents will live at all.

• Michelle Longley: Affordable housing for rent is more possible than to purchase. Someone could build a bunch of homes tomorrow and sell them for $85,000, but who wouldn’t then buy that property and turn around and sell it for the going rate of $225,000? … Are people really okay with renting versus owning for the rest of their lives? Is there any other way at this point to get the housing prices to drop? I doubt it… So, the focus needs to be on bringing in better paying jobs so locals can afford to live here.

• Mary Fox: I would love to move back to the area. The last time I had a place of my own (i.e. not my folks’ house) I was working at the hostel on Washington Street (in Conway). It sucks that wages can’t keep up — even places like Fryeburg or Bartlett. If you guys want the youth to stay there needs to be a focus on infrastructure and actual living wage.

• Peter Young: With many of the old-style lodges gone there are no longer ski bum jobs that offered room and board with a pass. The folks from away do not use their vacation homes as rentals anymore. It is hard to justify affordable housing with real estate at a premium. Why build affordable housing when you can put a McMansion on the same lot and make more money?