Housing Supply Solutions in New Hampshire

The Mortgage Bankers Association of New Hampshire, Inc. (MBANH) is very concerned about affordable housing supply in the state. To address this concern the organization's leadership and members are actively seeking ways in which they can be part of local solutions on this issue.

For example, during 2018, MBANH changed the association's by-laws to include a board member seat specifically allocated to a representative of a non-profit housing agency. The first person elected to that seat is Ignatius McLellan from New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA). While NHHFA does not permit their employees to be an officer of the association, MBANH went a step further by establishing the seat in their by-laws as a non-officer position specifically to enable the non-profit housing agency representative to participate on the MBANH Executive Committee. The intent is to always ensure a perspective from the non-profit sector in association policy and to make sure that affordable housing is an MBANH priority.   

The MBANH has also been supportive of the national MBA's proposal for Congressional reform of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Creating a Sustainable, More Vibrant Secondary Mortgage Market, and especially the provisions laying out the need for a seamless continuum of housing. Specifically, MBANH hosted a one-day educational program to brief their members of Congress and their staffs on the specifics of the plan along with the urgency for Congressional action to provide more opportunity for affordable homeownership and rental housing.  

Additionally, during 2018 the MBANH leadership participated in an Affordable Housing Solutions Conference at the invitation of the Center for Ethics in Business and Governance at St. Anselms College - which included HUD Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude and more than 150 developers, business leaders, property managers, and service providers from New Hampshire - to address the lack of affordable housing inventory for rental and ownership. A summary of the outcome from the meeting follows and participants were asked to complete a survey from the event's organizers in order to prioritize the recommendations into a development plan for the state.      

Executive Summary The Housing We Need: A Politics, Business, and Justice Roundtable held on 18 June 2018 at the Center for Ethics in Business and Governance, Saint Anselm College   

On June 18, 2018, the Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics in Business and Governance (CEBG) convened a large and diverse group of stakeholders to discuss problems of housing and housing affordability in New Hampshire, and to start developing recommendations for solutions and action. The group was divided into 16 tables, each of which held a moderated discussion on these issues and developed recommendations. Over the ensuing two months, a task force led by CEBG staff compiled and refined the recommendations. Significant effort was made to ensure that the recommendations from the stakeholder session found a place in the final results. Four categories emerged from this effort. Recommendations are not ranked for priority.  

Local Land Use Regulation: Housing developers consistently identify local land use regulations as a significant barrier to their ability to construct affordable homes for purchase and rent.

  • Increase allowed density. 
  • Increase the speed of review by local boards.
  • Increase regulatory flexibility to allow developers to respond to changing markets.
  • Encourage younger people to serve on local boards.

Education: The greatest number of recommendations from stakeholder tables involved the importance of educating various constituencies about the need for housing, counteracting housing myths, and engaging businesses.

  • Conduct NH-based research that evaluates the benefits of housing to communities.
  • Develop marketing campaign on the benefits of housing and the impact of regulation that links housing and economic growth, and that underscores the needs of different population sectors.
  • Create messages that counter the myths associated with affordable housing.
  • Engage major business leaders to advocate for housing at the local level.

State policy: A series of recommendations focused on actions that could be taken by the NH Legislature to impact local regulation or to improve developers' financial capacity to build affordable housing.

  • Create a state-level housing appeals board as an alternative to court trials on local decisions.
  • Require a portion of new development to be affordable.
  • Audit municipal compliance with the workforce housing law; work with those that don't comply.

State funding and incentives: Recommendations also concentrated on how the NH Legislature could directly fund housing development or provide tax incentives.

  • Fund the existing Affordable Housing Fund.
  • Increase or set aside a portion of the Real Estate Transfer Tax to fund Affordable Housing Fund.
  • Restructure tax policy to assist with affordable housing development.
  • Exempt first-time homebuyers and affordable housing from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.