With over 50 housing-related bills this session, housing advocates have had an active start to 2024. Below is a summary of some of the key proposals and upcoming hearing information.

Affordable Housing Financing: Bills proposing new and expanded affordable housing production tools have advanced in the Senate.

Affordable Housing Fund. SB 454 would double the formula from the real estate transfer tax to the NH Affordable Housing Fund starting the next biennial budget. The bill passed the full Senate on a voice vote and heads to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

Historic Housing Preservation Tax Credit. SB 364, that would establish a new historic housing preservation tax credit, unanimously passed Senate Ways and Means and a Senate floor vote, and is now before the Senate Finance Committee. The tax credit could provide an important tool to preserve historic structures while creating more affordable housing. Support for the proposal should be directed to members of Senate Finance.

State and Local Barriers: Legislative solutions ranging from improved permitting timelines to empowering local legislative bodies, to parking alternatives have been heard in the House and Senate.

HOMEnibus. SB 538, a set of proposals designed to address local zoning barriers and provide additional tools at the local level, was heard before the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee on February 20. The bipartisan bill was supported by a broad range of stakeholders, including the NH Association of Realtors, the Business and Industry Association of NH, Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, NH Community Loan Fund, and Housing Action NH.

Watch the recent WMUR coverage of the HOMEnibus bill below.

Parking Regulations. HB 1400 would limit the number of parking spaces a municipality could require. The NH Zoning Atlas revealed some unreasonable parking requirements that are creating barriers to missing middle and multi-family development.  Housing Action NH supports the bill that will be exec’ed by the House Special Committee on Housing this Friday.

Driveway Permitting Timelines. HB 1202 would require the NH Department of Transportation to issue a driveway permit for residential housing development within 30 days. The bipartisan bill has passed the Public Works Committee, the full House and Division II of House Finance. 

Abutter Definition. HB 1359, a bill supported by the NH Municipal Association, NH Planners Association, NH Association of Realtors, NH Business and Industry Association and Housing Action NH, would refine the definition of abutter to those in specific proximity to a proposed project. The bill received an ought to pass recommendation from the House Municipal and County Government Committee in a vote of 10-8 and will be considered by the full House on March 7.

Housing Stability/Homelessness: The housing crisis has resulted in increased housing cost burdens on New Hampshire families, housing instability and a concerning rise in homelessness.

Good Cause Eviction. Housing Action NH opposes HB 1115, which would erode New Hampshire’s good cause eviction standard.  The bill, proposed again by the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, would add end of lease term to good cause eviction, creating a new option for evicting renters who have little choice in a tight rental market. House Judiciary will vote on their Committee recommendation on March 6.

Renovation Evictions. Housing Action NH supports SB 519, which would add evidentiary requirements for evictions initiated based upon renovations and permit a discretionary stay of eviction for up to 6 months for tenants. The bill is still in the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Local Homeless Services Funding. SB 406 proposes a new $5 million homeless prevention pilot program for municipalities. The bill, endorsed by a bipartisan group of NH mayors, would be funded through remaining ARPA funding.