Concord, NH (STL.News) Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced a new rental assistance program through the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) that will provide assistance to eligible residents of New Hampshire who cannot pay their rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This program will open up doors of opportunity and help New Hampshire families who have struggled through this pandemic,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “We worked hard to open up as many channels of eligibility as possible so that no one struggling has to worry about making rent or keeping their lights or heat on.”
The New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP) will be administered by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA), in collaboration with GOFERR. NHHFA will work with the five regional Community Action Partnerships (CAPs) that will accept and process applications and payments for the program.
NHERAP funds can cover current and past due rent, as well as utility and home energy costs for eligible households. This assistance is available retroactive to April 1, 2020 through the date of application, and the applicant may also receive assistance for these same expenses going forward. Households may receive assistance for a total of 12 months.
Payments will be provided directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the household. Landlords, with the tenant’s permission, may apply for assistance on behalf of their tenant.
To be eligible, at least one person in the household must qualify for unemployment benefits, had their income reduced, had significant costs, or had other financial hardship due to COVID-19. The household must also be at risk for homelessness and meet certain income requirements.
The program is federally funded and must follow federal law. This program is only for eligible renters and landlords, not homeowners, per federal rules.
Full program guidelines and the NHERAP application information will be available by March 15, 2021 at www.NHHFA.org/emergency-rental-assistance. GOFERR, NHHFA, and the CAPs are committed to a simple and streamlined application and funding process.
An extensive statewide outreach campaign is planned to inform the public, renters, landlords, organizations, and service providers about the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program.