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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Housing Terms

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

Affordable Housing: As defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing (including utilities) that costs no more than 30% of a household’s income.  For our purposes, we try to use “homes that are affordable” and “affordable housing” interchangeably in the broader sense of meeting a households’ needs at a price they can afford. This figure is based on the specific household members’ income total, so it varies from family to family.

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 that is 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 2022 is $109,500 for a family of four.

Duplex: A residential structure with two housing units. The two units shall be connected either by: being directly adjacent to one another; connected by a garage with one or more bays; or connected by a roofed breezeway or structure that is 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 sources of funding 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 which 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 meet 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 that the housing does not have a subsidy. 

Mixed Use: Any combination of residential, commercial, public, etc. 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 form of residential subdivision that encourages and facilitates the maximization of protected open space by allowing housing units to be grouped on sites or lots with dimensions, frontages and setbacks reduced from conventional sizes.

Workforce Housing: Affordable housing that is near employment centers and is typically associated with members of the community who are gainfully employed. The term is used to cover housing in which more than 50% of units have 2 or more bedrooms, that does NOT include age-restricted housing, that does not exclude minor children from more than 20% of the units, and that is affordable to:

  • RENTERS: guideline based on family of 3 making 60% of Area Median Income
  • OWNERS: guideline based on family of 4 making 100% of the Area Median Income

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