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Senate Passes Housing Rights Package; Increases Protections for Homeowners and Renters

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

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

CONCORD - Today, the Senate passed HB 1247, an omnibus housing rights package to provide protections for homeowners and renters in relation to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The bill passed in a vote of 14-10. HB 1247 next goes to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote, which requires a simple majority.

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

“New Hampshire’s housing crisis began long before we began to feel the effects of COVID-19. The public health crisis has not only exacerbated the existing issues, but created new disparities as individual finances have been negatively impacted in ways no one could expect,” Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes (D-Concord) stated. “When the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is lifted, New Hampshire’s housing market could potentially collapse. We are grateful for the consistent support of our community banks who have bent over backwards for homeowners and businesses in New Hampshire and our landlords who have worked with tenants to keep them in their homes. However, the financial impacts of this crisis cannot be understated. Too many individuals and families will risk losing their homes, and all of us will end up bearing that cost. This legislation is about keeping people in their homes. No one should lose their home and the stability that provides due to unpredictable circumstances outside of their control.”

Senator Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) added, “New Hampshire families are in need of relief to put food on the table, keep the lights on, and stay in their homes. By creating pathways for New Hampshire renters to request assistance from public welfare departments in advance of an eviction notice, we can work to resolve crises before they hit. Granite Staters have worked hard over the past few months to protect one another by following public health guidelines, even when that meant losing personal financial security. That diligence in protecting one another is what makes us stronger as a state. Now it is up to legislators to take action to keep those who have worked so hard for the good of New Hampshire safe at home.”

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