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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Housing Terms

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU): A secondary residential living unit created within, attached to, or detached from a single-family dwelling on the same parcel of land. The ADU must provide sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation provisions. Peterborough zoning code requires that one of the units is owner-occupied. State and local laws may have additional restrictions on the size and number of bedrooms.

Affordable Housing: Generally defined as housing for which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of their gross income* for housing costs, including utilities, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Naturally occurring affordable rental housing: Rent that is below market rate, without a subsidy. Dedicated affordable rental housing: Limited to people with certain incomes and is created because of, or subsidized by, government programs.

Area Median Income (AMI): The midpoint of a region’s household income distribution – half of families in a region earn more than the median, and half earn less than the median. AMI is a common figure used in affordable housing calculated annually by county by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

  • Peterborough is in Hillsborough County (part), meaning it does not include Nashua income figures.
  • The AMI for Hillsborough County in 2023 is $116,200 for a family of four.

Co-Housing: Cohousing is community intentionally designed with ample common spaces surrounded by private homes. Collaborative spaces typically include a common house with a large kitchen and dining room, laundry, recreational areas and outdoor walkways, open space, gardens, and parking. Neighbors use these spaces to play together, cook for one another, share tools, and work collaboratively. Common property is managed and maintained by community members.

Duplex: A residential structure with two housing units. The two units shall be connected by being directly adjacent to one another, connected by a garage with one or more bays, or connected by a roofed breezeway or structure at least one story in height.

Dwelling or Dwelling Unit: A structure, or part of a structure, that is residential in nature and includes areas for living, cooking, sleeping, bathing, and sanitary facilities for one family.

Housing Trust Funds (HTFs): Established funding sources for affordable housing construction, acquisition, preservation, and other related purposes created by governments or private corporations to meet the housing needs of low-income households. Ideally, HTFs are usually funded through dedicated revenues like real estate transfer taxes or document recording fees to ensure a steady stream of funding rather than being dependent on regular budget processes.

Inclusionary Zoning: Local zoning that requires or encourages the inclusion of affordable housing units in new development, often through an additional density allowance, tax incentive, or less restrictive lot size and coverage.  

Low- and Moderate-Income Housing: Housing that is specifically funded by local, state, or federal government agencies or by private individuals or organizations for the use of economically disadvantaged persons. 

  • Low-Income shall mean those families earning less than fifty percent (50%) of the area median family income for Hillsborough County and
  • Moderate-Income shall mean those families earning between fifty percent (50%) and eighty percent (80%) of the area median family income for Hillsborough County.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program: Federal tax incentive program administered by state-designated agencies to promote the development of new affordable rental units. Federal income tax credits have a lifespan of 10 years, and participating properties are committed to meeting specific affordability thresholds for 99 years. 

Manufactured Home: A home built in the controlled environment of a manufacturing plant and transported in one or more sections on a permanent chassis. Also see Manufactured Home Park.  

Manufactured Home Park: Any property with three or more manufactured homes or manufactured home lots. See also Manufactured Home.

Market rate: A term used to denote housing available on the private market and is not subsidized or limited to any specific income level.

Mixed Use: Any combination of residential, commercial, or public uses that may all be considered appropriate for co-location on one lot or in one area.

Multi-family/Multi-unit Housing: A residential structure, or cluster of structures, with three or more housing units. 

Open Space Residential Development (OSRD): A residential subdivision that encourages and maximizes protected open space by grouping housing units on sites or lots with dimensions, frontages, and setbacks reduced from conventional sizes.

Resident Owned Community (ROC): In a resident-owned community (ROC), homeowners form a non-profit business called a cooperative. Each household is a member of the cooperative, which owns the land and manages the business that is the community. Members continue to own their own homes individually and an equal share of the land beneath the entire neighborhood.

Subsidized Housing: Housing that is made affordable through government subsidies, such as Housing Choice Vouchers (often referred to as “Section 8 Housing”) or Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), usually developed and managed by not-for-profits.

Workforce Housing: Per NH RSA 674:58-61, workforce housing refers to rental housing affordable to a household of three, making no more than 60% of the area median income.





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