Legislative Update: June 4, 2019
By BOB QUINN
Vice President of Government Affairs
Here are a few items being explored in the New Hampshire legislature that are of potential interest to the real estate community and being watched closely by your New Hampshire REALTORS government affairs team:
Senate budget dollars: lead paint fund,
affordable housing fund and Housing Appeals Board
The Senate Finance Committee has wrapped up work on their version of the state’s biennium budget. They included $3 million for a Lead Paint Hazard Remediation Fund to be used for loans on remediation on multi-family properties when tenant median household income is no more than 90 percent for that area; or 100 percent if a single-family residence. Many details would need to be resolved in a rulemaking process.
The budget also takes $5 million from the real estate transfer tax and places it in the Affordable Housing Fund, which is used by the NH Housing Finance Authority to facilitate the purchase, rehabilitation or construction of affordable housing primarily for low- and moderate-income families. Additionally, the Senate changes state law to mandate that $5 million is appropriated every year to the Affordable Housing Fund. NHAR supported this appropriation.
Finally, the Senate budget appropriates over $800,000 for the creation and operations of a new Housing Appeals Board, language which was originally contained in Senate Bill 306. This new Board, which NHAR testified in favor, will hear appeals from municipal land use boards after all local remedies have been exhausted.
The full Senate will need to vote on the budget before differences between the House and Senate version of the budget are to be worked out. The Governor will then have an opportunity to sign the budget or veto it.
Attempt to make NH a judicial foreclosure state stopped by Senate
House Bill 270 would have altered how New Hampshire handles foreclosure proceedings by requiring the lender to initiate a civil action through the courts. Currently, New Hampshire is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning a lender or mortgagee does not need to go to court in order begin foreclosure proceedings.
Proponents argued that property owners should have immediate access to the courts, just a tenant does when facing an eviction. Opponents pointed out that foreclosure proceedings in Judicial states take years and that there is no evidence to suggest court proceedings lead to a different outcome. Bankers also warned that all mortgage products could become more expensive if HB 270 became law.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the measure by a surprisingly large margin. However, this past week the Senate quickly killed the bill with little debate.
Do not forget to answer NHAR’s Call for Action
on VA and Fannie Mae private road bill
The New Hampshire legislature is currently considering a bill making it easier to obtain mortgage financing when purchasing or refinancing a residence on a private road. Please take a moment to send a message to your Representatives to tell them that you support this effort.
Senate Bill 39 would allow both the Veterans Administration and Fannie Mae to purchase the loan even if there is no written agreement road maintenance agreement. The legislation protects property rights while expanding financing opportunities.
We need REALTORS to make your voices heard.
The legislation passed the Senate unanimously and has been recommended for passage by the House Public Works and Highways Committee. You can help ensure the legislation reaches the Governor’s desk for his signature
To view the most recent legislative chart, click here or view the attachment. If you have questions regarding these or any other pieces of legislation from the 2019 New Hampshire legislative session, please contact New Hampshire REALTORS Vice President of Government Affairs Bob Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-225-5549.
Amidst the sea of change to which the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS has played witness in its 85 years, one thing that has remained constant is the Realtor 'R' and the value we bring to every real estate transaction in which we take part. We are part of a unique community where our familial cooperation transcends our business competition. These are not mere platitudes, but our living ideals, and they are, in fact, the foundation on which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day affairs.
Dan O'Halloran (at right), 2019 President, New Hampshire REALTORS