There's $69 Million in Stimulus Funds Headed to New Hampshire
- As is the case in many states, some New Hampshire residents are still behind on rent.
- Now, the state is getting an additional pool of funding for rental relief purposes.
Will you be in line to get a piece of it?
In the course of the pandemic, many people saw their finances get completely upended. This was especially true early on in the outbreak, when job loss was rampant.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people have fallen behind on their rent and mortgage payments over the past 23 months. Homeowners were given the option to pause their mortgage payments for up to 18 months early on in the pandemic via a process known as forbearance, while renters got a reprieve via a federal eviction ban.
Last year, that eviction ban expired, and since then, millions of Americans have been at risk of losing their homes. Thankfully, the last two stimulus bills allocated $45 billion to rental assistance funds, and states have been tasked with overseeing the application and distribution process.
While a lot of the rental assistance funds that were allocated early on have already been dished out, some states are getting more aid now. New Hampshire is one of them, and renters who are still behind on their housing payments may be in for much-needed relief.
More funding is on the way for New Hampshire
On Feb. 8, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the state had yet to receive its latest round of rental assistance funds and expressed concern the state would have to pause some of its grants due to that holdup. But thankfully, the issue seems to have resolved itself, and now, a much-needed $69 million in rental assistance money is on its way.
To be clear, New Hampshire has already received over $225 million in emergency rental assistance funds. And as of Feb. 6, the state had given out at least $100 million to 12,763 households. But these extra funds are needed to address the volume of people in need of aid.
That said, the need for rental assistance hasn't been as strong in New Hampshire as it's been in other states, according to Sununu. In fact, the governor has already asked the Treasury Department for permission to spend some of New Hampshire's rental assistance funds on affordable housing projects. This, he claims, will have a far greater impact in solving the state's housing crisis than doling out aid to individuals.
Given that the last two stimulus bills expressly allocated funds for rental assistance, it's somewhat doubtful that Sununu will get his way. And if he is given that flexibility, it could pave the way for more states to go a similar route.
That may not be a good thing, though, because there are still many renters who need a windfall to stay in their homes. And it's important to encourage states to be proactive in making that money available to those who are counting on it.
A sigh of relief
For now, New Hampshire doesn't have to worry about a funding holdup, so it can continue working on distributing aid to renters in need. As of Feb. 6, the state had almost 5,000 applications for assistance that were still waiting on approval.
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