New Hampshire REALTORS® Dispel Myths About Housing Development with Videos Targeting Members, Public, and Volunteer Planning and Zoning Boards

New Hampshire REALTORS® Dispel Myths About Housing Development with Videos Targeting Members, Public, and Volunteer Planning and Zoning Boards

October 2023

Housing inventory is at an all-time low in New Hampshire, but many of the local zoning boards overseeing the creation of new housing – or not – have been laboring under common misconceptions that stifle much needed development.  The New Hampshire REALTORS® are combatting these notions with a pair of five-minute data-driven videos funded by the REALTOR® Party.  A subsequent grant has helped get these in front of the public, the zoning boards, and even the state legislature.

Association Executive Bob Quinn explains that the effort to dispel the myths blocking housing development was ultimately driven by NHAR members.  “Our members are the front line of all our advocacy, and all our policy initiatives.  In this case, they reported that local zoning boards were making it hard for communities to create the housing they needed, especially workforce housing, and they turned to us for help countering the most common arguments – which were the same mistaken assumptions I’d been hearing from some state representatives.”

The first of these was the faulty idea that by bringing more children to the local schools, new housing would result in higher property taxes.  Using a Consumer Advocacy Grant, NHAR commissioned a detailed analysis from an economics professor at the University of New Hampshire.  Studying school and tax data from more than 200 New Hampshire towns, he demonstrated in a definitive 12-page report that student enrollment was not the primary driver of a community’s property tax rate.  “Our members were grateful for the report, but it was hard enough to distill it for ourselves, much less communicate it to land use boards,” says Quinn.  So, the association secured another grant from the REALTOR® Party to produce a short video that spelled out the results of the study in no uncertain terms.

A second video clarifies statewide legal requirements governing permits for workforce housing.  The widespread and subjective misunderstanding of this zoning statute was leading to numerous lawsuits, prompting legislation at the state level to mandate training for local zoning boards – a need anticipated by the NHAR videos.

“Our intent in creating these videos was first, to provide clear explanations of the facts to our members, and second, to have a tool to counter erroneous thinking among zoning boards,” states Quinn.  With support from another Consumer Advocacy Outreach Grant, NHAR was able to distribute the videos as a social media toolkit for its members, and more broadly via Facebook ads, consumer email, a website presence, and digital geo-fencing of the state capitol, state offices, and city halls.  Distribution began in January 2023, coinciding with the start of the state legislative session; this led to an invitation to NHAR to present the videos to a joint session of the Ways & Means Committee.

The videos have been well received, reports Quinn, and are also being used by allied organizations such as the New Hampshire Finance Authority and the New Hampshire Housing Alliance.  The education campaign, he adds, has helped to raise the profile and prestige of the REALTORS® in the state.  “We have shown ourselves to be leaders in zoning and housing policy and information, and we’re grateful to the REALTOR Party for its support of all our efforts.”

To learn more about how the New Hampshire REALTORS® are tackling the zoning issues that restrict housing development in the state, contact AE Bob Quinn at or 603.545.4432; or Director of Communications Dave Cummings at

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