The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program is designed to keep people from losing their housing and to secure or maintain permanent housing.
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $35 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (“flex funds”) to support families or individuals in need of housing assistance as a result of COVID-19. Of the allocated $35 million, $20 million will be initially expended, with $15 million being held in reserve, for rent stabilization and housing support.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) will provide the funds to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which will then make an initial disbursement of funds to New Hampshire’s five Community Action Program (CAP) agencies, with additional funding provided based on use and need. The CAP agencies have experience administering other emergency housing funds, and their experience working with renters and property owners throughout the communities they serve will allow the Housing Relief Program funds to quickly reach people who are struggling to pay their rent. They are also well-positioned to connect renters with other resources and services they may need.
The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program is designed to keep people from losing their housing and to secure or maintain permanent housing. The program has two components: one-time assistance grants; and a short-term rental assistance program.
The one-time assistance grants can be used to assist households with:
- Past-due rent from April 2020 forward for households that fell behind on rent due to either increased household expenses or lost household revenue as a result to COVID-19;
- Past-due housing/household related expenses that may impact an individual’s/families’ ability to remain housed; and/or
- Other housing related one-time expenses that if not paid impact the ability to maintain housing.
The grant is not to exceed $2,500, and is conditioned on COVID-19 related loss of household income or increased household expenses. This grant program is targeted to those households who will be able to maintain their housing without assistance after the one-time assistance payment.
The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program will provide short-term rental assistance to maintain or secure permanent housing. This includes assistance for:
- Past-due rent that was not paid due to a COVID-19 related inability to pay and ongoing rental assistance on a short term basis using progressive engagement. The rental assistance will decrease over time as households regain stability; or
- First month’s rent and ongoing short-term rental assistance to assist with initial costs to facilitate the transition of working households from shelters into permanent housing.
Both the one-time grants and the short-term rental assistance will be coupled with regional case management services to help connect households to appropriate services as defined by the household and the agency. Program payments will be made directly to the landlord or provider, and this program will end by December 30, 2020.
Here are some things you need to know about the Housing Relief Program.
- The program will pay past-due rent and utilities from April 1, 2020 on, for households that lost income or had increased household expenses as a result of COVID-19.
- You are still responsible for any rent or utility payments that were past due before March 31, 2020.
- To prove eligibility, at the time of application you will be asked to provide some documentation, which may include but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Demand for Rent/Eviction notice
- Income documentation (paystubs, SSI, un-employment, etc.)
- Non-income documentation (Food stamps, other benefits, etc.)
- Lease agreement
- Mortgage bill/foreclosure notice
- Proof of loss of employment (furlough/layoff notice, etc.)
- Utility bills including electric, gas, oil, internet
- Any items documenting other COVID- related household expenses
- There is no income limit to be eligible.
- The program can help you in a few different ways:
- You can receive a one-time grant of up to $2,500 if you will be able to maintain your housing without needing any more help.
- If the one time grant is not enough to allow you to maintain your housing, you can receive assistance over the period of a few months. The assistance will gradually be reduced as you become more financially stable.
- You can receive assistance finding and maintaining permanent housing if you are leaving a shelter situation. This assistance will also gradually decrease over time as you become more financially stable.
- Working with a case manager is a requirement to participate in the program, and will include the following:
- determining with you what part of the program is the most appropriate to help you maintain your housing.
- meeting with the case manager on a regular basis to evaluate progress, provide support, and modify any plans in place as needed.
- looking at your income and expenses before the COVID-19 crisis and now to see how much they changed.
- helping you find suitable housing, if necessary.
- developing a budget plan for maintaining housing while you are receiving assistance and after it ends.
- working with you and your landlord to make sure that everyone agrees with whatever plans are developed to maintain the housing.
- Seeing if there are other household expenses which may be eligible for payment.
- if necessary, applying for other benefits and/or services for which you may be eligible.
- You do not need to be under an eviction notice to participate in the program.
- You will not receive the payments. They will be made directly to the landlord or service provider
If you have questions please contact our Homeless Intervention and Prevention office at 603-444-0184. Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc serves Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties; to apply for this program in another area of state please visit www.capnh.org