The impact of the Airbnb market on affordable housing is being felt everywhere, from here in our small town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire, to larger cities world wide. Out-of-staters buy up affordable housing and operate them as Airbnb’s from afar. The regulations and local zoning ordinances aren’t keeping up with this fairly recent phenomenon in housing. Neighborhood families are finding the fabric of their lives changed as Airbnb’s next door host tourists, who may or may not respect the quiet 9-5 around them—after all, they are on vacation, which may mean, lots of people, lots of noise, lots of fun…for them. The neighbors, on the other hand, may feel their residential district just became a hotel district. Olivia cared about affordable housing for most of her career and AHEAD housing was not just her employer, but her passion. Affordable housing and knitting, that is.
Many knitters accumulate a “stash” of yarn, and Olivia was no different. We often wonder what will happen to the yarn that we not only invested in financially, but loved so much. When her daughter asked if I would like Olivia’s yarn after she passed, I told her I would figure out what best to do with it. Olivia’s Legacy is her stash in a bureau in my shop. The proceeds from the sale of her yarn will go directly to AHEAD; in fact, customers need to write a check to AHEAD for the amount. I’m going to track what we raise, and who knows, maybe others will want to contribute quality yarn to the project, and we’ll see what we can raise for affordable housing in the North Country.