Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program established through the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) will launch at noon on Monday, March 15th. It will provide aid to eligible residents of New Hampshire who cannot pay their rent, utilities and heating costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the worst of this public health crisis is now behind us, New Hampshire will continue to provide assistance to those in need of additional supports,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is key to ensuring that we open doors of opportunity and help New Hampshire families as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this pandemic.”
The five regional Community Action Partnership (CAP) agencies will work directly with renters in need, review their applications, check eligibility, and process payments for eligible expenses.
The program will cover past-due and future rent payments; utilities, such as electricity, home heating costs, water, sewer, trash; and other housing-related costs such as internet and relocation expenses associated directly or indirectly with COVID-19. Relocation expenses including rental application fees, utility hook-up fees, and security deposits are also eligible. Grants will be provided directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the household. A landlord, 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 be at risk for homelessness, be paying more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities, or live in unsafe or unhealthy housing, as well as meet certain income requirements.
Program guidelines, a Frequently Asked Questions guide, and the NHERAP application (online and a printable form) will be available by noon on Monday, March 15, 2021 at www.CAPNH.org and on each of the five CAP agency websites. CAP staff are available to assist with the application process. Individuals may also call 2-1-1 to get assistance in contacting their CAP agency.
Under federal law, this program is only for eligible renters, not homeowners.
The NHERAP will be administered by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA), in collaboration with GOFERR. 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. Details about the program also are available at www.NHHFA.org/emergency-rental-assistance.
For residents of Hillsborough and Rockingham County, you can learn more about eligibility and how to apply for NHERAP here on the Southern New Hampshire Services website.