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2022 Session Wrap-Up
The 2022 legislative session came to a close on May 26. The results, in terms of housing-related bills, were decidedly mixed.
After a series of dramatic twists and turns in the final days of the session, portions of SB 400, a high priority bill to implement a series of recommendations from the Governor’s 2019 Task Force on Housing, were incorporated into another bill, HB 1661, that was approved in the final hours of the session. This was a hard fought and significant victory for pro-housing groups led by NH Housing, Housing Action NH, and other partner organizations.
In another positive development, three bills aimed at eliminating the Housing Appeals Board or restricting its jurisdiction were defeated. The Housing Appeals Board is an alternative venue from Superior Court for parties who wish to appeal municipal land use decisions.
In addition, SB 210, a bill that would have been detrimental to efforts to establish cooperatively-owned manufactured housing parks, was enacted in an amended form that deleted much of the language that was problematic.
SB 249, a controversial bill to prohibit towns from banning short-term rentals, was referred to interim study. NH Housing did not take a position on this bill but monitored it closely.
There were also some pro-housing bills that did not survive the session, namely HB 1177, which would have increased the number of housing units allowed on certain residential lots, and HB 1291, which would have prohibited discrimination against tenants holding housing choice vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings.
2022 Legislative Results
SB 249, prohibiting planning and zoning ordinances that ban short-term rentals.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Harold French
Outcome: The bill was referred to Interim Study by the House. The House Municipal and County Government Committee will report its recommendations back to the House by the end of October.
SB 400-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jeb Bradley
Outcome: The bill was recommended Ought to Pass by the Senate but was tabled by the House, effectively killing the bill. However, Senator Bradley took the language of the bill and added it as an amendment to another bill, HB 1661. A Committee of Conference on HB 1661 then reached an agreement to include in the bill multiple provisions of SB 400. The Committee of Conference report was then adopted by both the House and the Senate. Governor Sununu has signed the bill into law.
HB 1177, relative to permissible units in a residential zone.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Ivy Vann
Outcome: The House Municipal and County Government Committee voted the bill Ought to Pass. The bill was subsequently tabled on the House floor on a vote of 167-157, effectively killing it.
HB 1216, repealing the housing appeals board.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Bill Boyd
Outcome: The House Judiciary Committee voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) by a margin of 17-3. The bill was subsequently ITL’d, or killed, by the House.
HB 1254, relative to the housing appeals board.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Susan Homola
Outcome: The House Judiciary Committee voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) by a margin of 18-3. The bill was subsequently ITL’d, or killed, by the House.
HB 1291, prohibiting discrimination against tenants holding certain vouchers for purposes of renting dwellings.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Cam Kenney
Outcome: The House Judiciary Committee voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) by a margin of 11-10. The bill was then tabled on the House floor on a vote of 179-148, effectively killing it.
HB 1307, modifying the authority and duties of the housing appeals board.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Barbara Griffin
Outcome: The House Municipal and County Government Committee voted the bill Ought to Pass by a margin of 13-3. The bill was subsequently voted Ought to Pass on the House floor. The Senate then voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate, killing it.
HB 1389, establishing a superior court land use docket.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Bob Lynn
Outcome: The House voted to refer this bill to Interim Study. As a result, the bill will be further studied by the Judiciary Committee, which will issue its recommendations on the bill by the end of October.
State Legislative Study Commissions and Committees
- Council on Housing Stability Strategic Plan (2021-2024)
- Commission to Study Barriers to Increased Density of Land Development in New Hampshire. (SB 43, 2019) Final Report, issued November 13, 2020.