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2019-2020 State Legislation
The New Hampshire legislature wrapped up the 2019-2020 session on June 30, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the session was truncated and only a small number of bills were passed. While several housing-related bills were in play throughout the session, only one of these bills, HB 1247, was approved by both chambers. Many of the bills that were not passed will likely be re-introduced in the 2020-2021 legislative session.
- HB 1247, relative to mortgage defaults and nonpayment of rent during the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak state of emergency. Extends protections to renters and homeowners who face eviction or foreclosure because they are unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Prime sponsor: Rep. Casey Conley.
Status: Approved by House and Senate. Vetoed by Governor Sununu on July 10, 2020.
- HB1629-FN, relative to training and procedures for zoning and planning boards. Improves efficiency and transparency of local planning board and zoning board processes; requires Office of Strategic Initiatives to develop standard self-training materials for board members; allows for mandatory inclusionary zoning. Prime sponsor: Rep. Willis Griffith.
Status: Approved by the House but tabled by the Senate, effectively killing the bill.
- HB1632-FN-A-L, relative to financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development. Permits municipal economic development and revitalization districts in RSA 162-K to be used to increase workforce housing and other residential development; increases the community revitalization tax relief incentive period for eligible housing projects under RSA 79-E; establishes a voluntary “housing champion” certification for municipalities. Prime sponsor: Rep. Joe Alexander.
Status: Recommended for approval, as amended, first by the House Municipal and County Government committee, and then by the House Ways and Means Committee, but did not advance to a floor vote of the entire House and therefore died.
- HB1248-L, relative to community revitalization tax relief incentives. Expands the Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive (RSA 79-E) to allow creation of a municipal “housing opportunity” zone with accompanying limited-time property tax relief; also amends the Affordable Housing Fund (RSA 204-C) to allow for more flexible income targeting in projects that use these funds. Prime sponsor: Rep. Casey Conley.
Status: Recommended for approval by two House committees but did not advance to a floor vote of the entire House and therefore died.
- SB475, enabling municipalities to adopt a property tax credit for densely-built workforce housing. Enables municipalities to adopt a credit against education property taxes assessed on certain densely-built workforce housing. Prime sponsor: Senator Jeb Bradley.
Status: Recommended for approval, as amended, first by Senate Ways and Means Committee and then by Senate Finance Committee. Bill was then tabled and did not advance to a full Senate vote, effectively killing the bill.
- SB638, establishing the New Hampshire housing and conservation planning program. Reinstates the HCPP, which was established by the Legislature in 2007 to provide grants and technical assistance to municipalities for planning and zoning work. Prime sponsor: Senator Martha Fuller Clark.
Status: Referred to interim study by the Senate.
- SB536, requiring an annual report of the housing appeals board. Requires an annual report, including a statement of impact of the housing appeals board on the number of housing units produced. Prime sponsor: Senator Chuck Morse.
Status: Passed by the Senate. Introduced in the House and referred to the Municipal and County Government Committee. Tabled by the full House, effectively killing the bill.
Note: three other bills related to the Housing Appeals Board (SB487, SB721, and SB735) were all killed by the Senate.
Current Federal Legislation
- S. 1703/H.R. 3077, Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. These companion bills would provide for a phased-in 50% increase to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and make overall efficiency improvements to the program.
State Legislative Study Commissions and Committees
- Commission to Study Barriers to Increased Density of Land Development in New Hampshire (SB 43, 2019). Details coming.