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Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony on Omnibus Housing Rights Package

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Amendment #2020-1363s to HB 1247. The amendment, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) and Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) provides protections for homeowners and renters related to the COVID-19 state of emergency.

After the hearing, Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) and Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) issued the following statements:

“New Hampshire had a housing crisis prior to COVID-19, and when the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is lifted, New Hampshire’s housing market could potentially collapse,” Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) stated. “Our community banks have bent over backwards for homeowners and businesses here in New Hampshire, including helping our businesses navigate the PPP. Our landlords have worked with many tenants. But, once the moratoriums are lifted, too many individuals and families will risk losing their homes, and all of us will end up bearing that cost – much like we did during and after the Great Recession. Among other things, this legislation works to ensure homeowners are alerted of their right to request forbearance and give borrowers the ability to pay the interest and fees accumulated during COVID-19 at the end of their mortgage. No one should be forced out of their home due to circumstances well outside of their control, and we cannot afford to allow our housing market to collapse.”

Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) added, “During this state of emergency in which no eviction notices are ordered, we’ve seen the need to adjust current practices for providing assistance to families in need. The reopening of the courts will mean that cases put on hold due to COVID-19 will need to be addressed and rental disputes will most likely not be at the top of the list. By allowing New Hampshire renters to request assistance from public welfare departments in advance of an eviction notice, we open up the possibility for resolving crises before they hit.”

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