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Committee of lawmakers to study tiny house bill

Monitor staff
Published: 4/10/2019 2:59:24 PM

Fans of tiny houses will have to wait longer to see if New Hampshire lawmakers will embrace them, as a bill to ease approval of the structures is going to a study committee.

The state Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a bill creating a study committee about the much-discussed but seldom-built structures. The House of Representatives has already approved the idea and the full Senate is likely to go along.

The bill, House Bill 312, originally sought to require towns to allow tiny houses – usually defined as stand-alone homes of less than 400 square feet – in any place zoned for residential development. Questions were raised about various issues, including its effect on local control, and it was amended to create the committee.

The group, consisting of three state representatives and one state senator, will discuss “issues associated with state and local permitting of tiny houses suitable for year-round occupancy, including both tiny houses of permanent foundations and tiny houses on wheels.”

Those issues include defining the very structures themselves: “The committee shall determine what constitutes a ‘tiny house,’ both on a permanent foundation and on wheels.”

Proponents of tiny homes say they can expand the state’s housing options by providing a relatively low-cost place to live that might help ease labor shortages and keep young adults in the state.

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