The first New Hampshire Housing Caucus has been established within the state legislature to educate and inform lawmakers about the necessary steps to increase housing availability and stability for New Hampshire citizens, businesses, and communities. The bicameral, bipartisan caucus was created in 2021 stemming from a recommendation of the Council on Housing Stability’s Strategic Plan, which was published in June 2021. The Housing Caucus is composed of sixteen state senators and representatives that represent a diverse range of geographic areas and committees.
The Caucus is charged with tracking a multitude of housing related bills this session with a primary focus is SB 400, the “Community Toolbox Bill.” SB 400 provides communities new opportunities to address the housing shortage, including:
- Opt-in tools for municipalities to address supply shortages;
- Improvements to the project proposal process, such as faster timelines, and more transparency and documentation; and
- Expanded education and training opportunities (voluntary) for planning and zoning board members.
“The housing crisis remains urgent in our state,” noted Housing Caucus co-chair Senator Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka (D-Portsmouth). “In order to restore our Main Street communities, to keep our next generation, to build an economy for the future, and to sustainably conserve our environment, we must be proactive on housing. The creation of New Hampshire’s first legislative Housing Caucus is an important step forward to make meaningful progress in the legislature on our housing crisis.”
“I am excited to help lead this bipartisan coalition to use our collective voice to engage and educate other policymakers on housing issues,” added Housing Caucus co-chair Representative Joe Alexander (R-Goffstown). “The housing shortage is directly related to New Hampshire’s workforce challenges so it is essential that we all work together to address this crisis.”
The bipartisan Housing Caucus will continue to take an active role throughout the 2022 legislative session and beyond, engaging and educating fellow policymakers on issues related to addressing New Hampshire’s housing crisis.
About the New Hampshire Council on Housing Stability
The New Hampshire Council on Housing Stability was established by Governor Christopher Sununu with Executive Order 2020-22 on November 18, 2020. The Council brings together a broad base of diverse stakeholders from across the state and is co-led by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Business and Economic Affairs and the Community Development Finance Authority. More information on the Council, including news, upcoming meetings and its three-year strategic plan, can be found via www.nhchs.org.