Community Toolbox Bill. A Committee of Conference included an amended version of the Community Toolbox Bill in its final report on HB 1661 adopted by both the House and the Senate. Now headed to the Governor’s desk, the amended package includes enhanced training and improved timelines for planning and zoning boards, density provisions, impact fee disclosures, and improved review options. The legislation also enables tax increment financing for affordable housing development. Housing Action NH thanks the broad coalition of stakeholders who came together to advocate for the bill.

Housing Appeals Board. Housing advocates successfully defeated the 3 bills which aimed to repeal or weaken the Housing Appeals Board. The one bill that had moved to the Senate, HB 1307, received an inexpedient to legislate recommendation from the Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee 5-0 and was killed by the full Senate via the Consent Calendar. Hearing notices and Board decisions can now be found on the Housing Appeals Board website

ARPA for Housing. The legislative Joint Fiscal Committee and the NH Executive Council have approved the new $100 million InvestNH program to address affordable housing supply challenges. In its letter to the Executive Council, Housing Action NH noted the addition of affordability requirements, including:  1) the requirement to demonstrate affordability for projects in the capital grant program; 2) connecting to other established federal and state affordable housing programs that have long-term affordability provisions, income targeting, and compliance practices; 3) a programmatic focus on adding new units to avoid displacement of current residents; 4) a commitment to ADA upgrades and universal design standards; 5) a focus on capital investments for NH’s workforce earning 80 % or less than area median income; and 6) flexibility to include mixed-income; mixed-use and small-scale projects. More information on the capital grant program is expected at the end of June 2022. 

Homeless Funding. An amendment to HB 1662 sought to appropriate $5 million in ARPA or state general funds designated for municipalities to address costs related to eviction prevention, rapid rehousing, hoteling, and sheltering. However, the proposal failed to advance due to disagreements among the conferees. Homeless services funding will again be under consideration in upcoming state budget proposals for state fiscal years 2024-2025.



FY 23 Appropriations. Congress continues to work on a potential FY 23 budget reconciliation bill with the goal of establishing an outline before the July 4 recess. Key housing proposals in play include an expansion of rental assistance vouchers, enhanced capital for public housing improvements and increases to the National Housing Trust Fund.

Housing Supply Action Plan. The White House released a Housing Supply Action Plan on May 16. As noted by White House Domestic Policy Council’s Erika Peothig at a recent Housing Matters Zoom convened by Housing Action NH, the plan aims to incentive housing development by increasing incentives for local planning and zoning reforms, leveraging additional funding sources for housing production and preservation, address public housing needs, supporting the production and availability of manufactured housing, and streamlining the disposition of federal properties to identify more affordable housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness.  

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released a proposed rule in early May 2022 that would significantly modify existing CRA regulations. CRA guidelines incentivize investments in affordable housing development. The proposed rule would make changes to CRA’s evaluation framework as well as its assessment areas. Public comments are due by August 5. 



Latest Housing Market Report. NH Housing has released its latest Housing Market Report. The new report explores the impact of escalating construction costs, increases in mortgage rates, as well as rising home prices and rents that have exacerbated housing affordability challenges for entry-level buyers as well as renters. “For decades, the production of new housing has failed to keep pace with demand in our state,” noted Rob Dapice, CEO of NH Housing in an interview with NH Business Review. “It would take at least 20,000 housing units to achieve a balanced market, meaning a 5% rental vacancy rate (New Hampshire’s hovers at 1 percent) and a six-month supply of homes for sale (currently less than one month).”