We will focus this edition of our newsletter on the number of legislative proposals still in play at the State House. We thank the many members of the Housing Action NH coalition who have engaged with policy makers this year and we ask for your ongoing support as we head into the final key months of the legislative session.
See below for the latest federal and state affordable housing news.
Affordable Housing Fund. SB 15, sponsored by Senator Jeb Bradley, proposes a $10 million appropriation into the Affordable Housing Fund, as well as a $5 million annual transfer from the Real Estate Transfer Tax. SB 15 received unanimous support from the Senate Finance Committee, passed the full Senate with a unanimous voice vote and will be before House Finance for a public hearing on Tuesday, 4/23, at 10 am.
The House did show support for the Affordable Housing Fund when it passed its version of the budget, including a $5 million appropriation for the Fund in HB 1.
Homeless Services Expansion. SB 84, sponsored by Senator Cindy Rosenwald, proposes increasing homeless services with a $5 million appropriation: $2 million for a new eviction program; $2 million for expansion of case management; and $1 million for a rapid-rehousing program for youth and TANF eligible families. SB 84 received unanimous support from the Senate Finance Committee, passed the full Senate with a unanimous voice vote and was then tabled, establishing the Senate’s spending position for its budget proposal.
The House budget did include $4.9 million in funding for the expansion of homeless services, allocated slightly differently: $2 million for eviction prevention; $1 million for the expansion of shelter case management; $1.5 million for rapid-rehousing; and $400,000 for homeless youth outreach.
Supportive Housing Medicaid Benefit. A $3.8 million appropriation to expand NH’s state Medicaid plan to include supportive housing services was included in the Governor’s budget proposal within Medicaid payments to providers. That funding was slightly increased by the House in HB 1 and is now before the Senate for its budget considerations.
Housing Appeals Board. SB 306, sponsored by Senator Bob Giuda, was amended by the Senate to include a $400,000 appropriation for the staffing and administrative costs of a statewide housing appeals board. Similar to the BTLA, the Housing Appeals Board would provide a more efficient review of housing-related appeals. SB 306 was passed and then tabled by the Senate, to be considered within the Senate budget.
Density Study Commission. SB 43, sponsored by Senate Martha Fuller Clark, would create a legislative study commission to study barriers to increased land development in New Hampshire. The bill passed the Senate and heard by Housing Municipal and County Government. The House Committee will consider the proposal in executive session on Tuesday, 4/23 at 1 pm.