American Rescue Plan. Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. In addition to comprehensive COVID-19 relief, including stimulus checks, extension of unemployment insurance, funding for schools and vaccine distribution, and direct aid to state and local governments, the legislation includes more than $42.5 billion in funding for affordable housing programs.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance. The new package includes funding to continue emergency rental assistance programs launched through the December relief package. New Hampshire is eligible to receive up to $152 million in additional funds. The deadline for spending these funds is September 20, 2025. The bill also extended the spend deadline for the prior appropriation ($200 million for New Hampshire) to September 30, 2022.  
  • Homeowner Assistance Fund. The next package creates a new program for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financing hardship. New Hampshire is expected to receive $50 million or more for the new program.
  • Homeless Services and Supportive Services. The new package addresses the needs related to homeless and supportive housing services through the HOME program. Eligible uses include supportive services, transitional housing, housing counseling, and homeless prevention services, as well as the acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units. The allocation is based on the HOME formula that has traditionally provided $3 to $4 million to New Hampshire.
  • Other Programs. Other housing resources in the bill include emergency housing vouchers, rental assistance for USDA-RD properties, housing counseling, relief measures for Section 502 and Section 504 direct loan borrowers, and funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.


Housing Toolbox Bill/ HB 586. Following a favorable Ought to Passrecommendation (15-3) from the House Municipal and County Government Committee, HB 586, known as the housing toolbox bill, was tabled by the full House in a vote of 175-172. The bill includes important proposals:
  1. economic development tools like TIFF districts and community revitalization tax incentives for affordable housing development;
  2. improves the predictability of the local approval process; and
  3. establishes a new Housing Champion certification program for municipalities. 
Affordable Housing Fund/ SB 127. Senator Majority Leader Jeb Bradley’s bill to provide $10 million to the Affordable Housing Fund was incorporated into a Senate omnibus bill on appropriations, SB 127. The hearing before House Finance included testimony from business leaders, realtors, young professionals and affordable housing advocates.
Homeless Services/ SB 140. Senator Cindy Rosenwald’s bill, SB 140, to provide $18 million for homeless services was passed by the Senate 23-1. The bill was amended to source the funding from federal resources. The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee. 
Housing Appeals Board/ HB 288. The House Judiciary Committee held its hearing on HB 288 that proposed the elimination of the Housing Appeals Board. Following a long list of testifiers in support of the Housing Appeals Board and opposed to the legislation, the Committee recommended the elimination proposal Inexpedient to Legislate15-6. 
Notice of Rent Increases/ HB 160. Representative Casey Conley’s bill to provide notice by a landlord of at least 60 days of a proposed rent increase exceeding 5 percent or notice of at least 90 days of an increase exceeding 8 percent, received an Inexpedient to Legislate recommendation from House Judiciary in a vote of 11-10. 
Housing and Conservation Planning Program/ SB 86.Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka’s bill to re-establish the Housing and Conservation Planning Program was incorporated into SB 86, the Senate omnibus bill on planning and zoning and passed the Senate in a vote of 14-10. 
Right to Cure/ SB 126. Senator Perkins Kwoka’s proposal to extend the right to cure for tenants up until the date of the eviction hearing also received a favorable recommendation in Committee. The bill now heads to the full Senate. 


Emergency Rental Assistance Program Launched.  New Hampshire Housing launched the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program on March 15. Similar to the prior housing stability program, rental assistance will be administered by the state’s 5 regional Community Action Partnership agencies
Lynn Lippitt, NH Housing’s Director of Housing Services, provided an overview of the program on Housing Action NH’s recent housing zoom. In addition, a frequently asked questions document can be found here.


House Budget Hearing Tuesday. New Hampshire’s House Finance Committee has scheduled the first public hearing on the state budget for this Tuesday, March 16th at 1 pm. Housing Action NH encourages housing advocates to testify in support of these key budget items:
  • The NH Affordable Housing Fund;
  • Homeless Services; and the 
  • Housing Appeals Board
You can register to testify here by selecting House Finance and HB 1. We recommend that you select “neutral.” You can also email your testimony to HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us