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2020-2021 State Legislation
Housing issues were prominent in last year’s state legislative session. Several bills to increase the supply of housing advanced through various stages in committee and were poised for approval by both chambers but died when the legislative session was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Housing issues will continue to be in the spotlight during the 2020-2021 legislative session. Among the bills NH Housing will be closely monitoring are the following:
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 Finance Committee voted Inexpedient to Legislate. Bill now goes to full Senate for a floor vote.
- SB86-FN, adopting omnibus legislation relative to planning and zoning. Part II of this bill re-establishes the New Hampshire Housing Conservation Planning Program at the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jay Kahn.
Status: Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment, 14-0.
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: Vote pending before Senate Finance Committee.
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: House Municipal and County Government Committee voted Ought to Pass (19-0). Bill advances to full House.
- HB 288-FN, eliminating the housing appeals board. This bill repeals the recently established housing appeals board. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Daryl Abbas.
Status: Hearing before House Judiciary Committee was held on March 5. Committee vote pending.
- 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.
- 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: Hearing before the House Municipal and County Government Committee was held on March 3. Committee vote pending.
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.