Legislative Update June 24, 2021

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Legislative Update June 24, 2021

Eviction moratorium extended

By BOB QUINN
Chief Executive Officer

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has extended its federal eviction moratorium, previously set to expire on June 30, through July 31, 2021.

The agency stated in its announcement that this latest extension of the moratorium, which has been in place since September 2020 under the CDC’s powers during a public health emergency, is intended to be the last.

The eviction moratorium prevents housing providers from evicting tenants who: are unable to pay all or some of their rent due to loss of income or medical expenses; have attempted to obtain rental assistance; earned no more than $99k ($198k for joint filers) in 2020 or do not expect to earn more than that in 2021; are making “best efforts” to make timely partial payments; and for whom eviction would likely render them homeless or force them into a shared living setting.

The National Association of REALTORS is disappointed by the extension of the CDC moratorium, which no longer serves the purpose it was intended for and is no longer needed on a national level.

The New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program is currently accepting applications for assistance with rent and utility payments for landlords and tenants. The program provides payments directly to landlords and utility companies to help tenants remain in the apartment.

For more information, visit the programs website

“Housing Opportunity Zones” legislation passes

Under House Bill 154, a municipality may establish a “Housing Opportunity Zone” to provide property tax relief for certain new housing developments. The legislation was signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu on June 18.

To be eligible, no less than one-third of the housing units constructed must be designated for households with an income of 80 percent or less of the area median income. A qualifying structure under this section is eligible for tax assessment relief for a period of up to 10 years.

The legislation also altered qualifications for financial assistance under New Hampshire Affordable Housing Fund, which is administered by the NH Housing Finance Authority. To qualify, an applicant now must meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least 50 percent of the units shall be affordable to persons of very low, low, or moderate income; meaning at least greater than 60 percent and less than or equal to 80 percent of the median income;
  • At least 40 percent of the units shall be affordable to persons of very low or low income; meaning greater than 50 percent and less than or equal to 60 percent of the median income;
  • At least 20 percent of the units shall be affordable to persons of very low income; gross income is less than or equal to 50 percent of the median income.

Both provisions will go into effect on April 1, 2022.

Importantly, the NH Affordable Housing Fund now has more state dollars in the upcoming budget then it has had in many years. The budget authorized $25 million in funding over the biennium as the legislature recognized the statewide housing shortage.

If you have questions regarding these or any other pieces of legislation regarding the 2021 New Hampshire legislative session, please contact New Hampshire REALTORS Chief Executive Officer Bob Quinn by email (bob@nhar.com) or 603-225-5549.

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