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2020-2021 State Legislation
The state legislature wrapped up the 2020-2021 session at the end of June. NH Housing monitored and tracked seven key housing-related bills throughout the session. There were three notable advances: HB 154 creating housing opportunity zones was enacted; HB 2, the budget trailer bill, provided $15 million in new funding to the state’s Affordable Housing Fund, managed by NH Housing; and HB 288, a bill to eliminate the state’s newly established Housing Appeals Board, was defeated.
Here are the results on all the tracked bills:
SB 73, establishing a green building standards initiative as part of the low or moderate income housing loan program and making an appropriation therefor; and establishing a commission to study green housing and utility source options.
Prime sponsor: Senator Donna Soucy.
Status: Senate voted Inexpedient to Legislate (14-10), effectively killing the bill.
- SB86-FN, adopting omnibus legislation relative to planning and zoning. Part II of this bill re-establishes the NH Housing and Conservation Planning Program at the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jay Kahn.
Status: The Senate passed the bill, but it was amended by a House committee to remove the language establishing the NH Housing and Conservation Planning Program. The Senate concurred with the House amendment and the bill was subsequently enacted.
SB127-FN, adopting omnibus legislation on appropriations. Part III of this bill allocates $10 million to the state’s Affordable Housing Fund administered by NH Housing.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jeb Bradley.
Status: The Senate voted the bill Ought to Pass with Amendment (24-0). The bill was subsequently tabled. Subsequently, language was added to HB 2, the budget trailer bill, to increase funding for the state’s Affordable Housing Fund by $25 million over the next two fiscal years. This bill signed into law by Governor Sununu on June 25.
HB 154, relative to community revitalization tax relief incentives. This bill enables municipalities to offer community revitalization tax incentives for the construction of additional housing in designated areas. It also revises the criteria for assistance from the Affordable Housing Fund administered by NH Housing.
Prime sponsor: Rep. Casey Conley.
Status: This bill was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sununu on June 18.
- HB 288-FN, eliminating the housing appeals board. This bill repeals the recently established housing appeals board.
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Daryl Abbas.
Status: The House Judiciary voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate (15-6). The House failed to vote on this measure prior to the deadline for bills crossing over to the Senate. Therefore, the bill was effectively killed.
- HB 586-FN-A-L, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards and relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. This bill is designed to advance six key recommendations from Governor Sununu’s Task Force on Housing that are designed to increase the supply of affordable housing in New Hampshire.
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Joe Alexander, Jr.
Status: Following a committee vote of Ought to Pass (15-3), the House voted 175-172 to table this bill. Motion to remove the bill from table failed by a vote of 164-175. Consequently, the bill did not advance to the Senate and effectively died.
- HB 588, relative to building codes for tiny houses. This bill defines tiny houses and provides for the authority and requirements for municipal regulation.
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Dave Testerman.
Status: The House Municipal and County Government Committee voted the bill Inexpedient to Legislate (10-9). The House failed to vote on this measure prior to the deadline for bills crossing over to the Senate, effectively killing the bill.
Current Federal Legislation
- Details will be posted here as Congress files new legislation
State Legislative Study Commissions and Committees
- Commission to Study Barriers to Increased Density of Land Development in New Hampshire (SB 43, 2019). Final Report, issued November 13, 2020.