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N.H. to study how to allow, define tiny houses

Monitor staff
Published: 6/20/2019 1:48:36 PM

New Hampshire has decided to take an official look at the question of how and whether to allow “tiny houses” to be built – including figuring out exactly what a tiny house is.

Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday signed into law House Bill 312, which creates a committee of legislators to study rules about the construction of tiny houses, which are small, often portable houses, usually less than 400 square feet, that some see as a partial solution to a lack of affordable housing.

The committee will look at “issues associated with state and local permitting of tiny houses suitable for year-round occupancy, including both tiny houses on permanent foundations and tiny houses on wheels. Such issues shall include, but not be limited to, building codes, fire codes, conflicts with local land use ordinances and regulations, and other local codes,” according to the bill.

Because of design elements, tiny homes often bump up against codes developed for larger housing. One common problem is that tiny homes often have beds in lofts to make room for living space below, but lofts have very low ceilings that don’t meet height requirements for bedrooms.

The committee will also “determine what constitutes a ‘tiny house’ ” under state law, since there is no widely accepted definition.

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