$2 million more headed to New Hampshire for emergency rent assistance
New federal cash infusion is second from U.S. Treasury in a matter of weeks
Another $2 million in federal rental assistance funding is on its way to New Hampshire, the state’s congressional delegation announced Tuesday.
The funds are being provided by the U.S. Treasury to the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Under the program, the funding is used to help tenants who have been hurt financially by the pandemic to pay for rent and other housing expenses, like energy costs.
This is the second infusion of cash to prop up the state’s rental assistance program, coming on the heels of a $2.5 million payment made last month by the Treasury.
The funding is particularly helpful since it comes after the Treasury declined the state’s request for a $67 million award. Without the extension the states program is set to expire on Dec. 29. As a result new applications are no longer being accepted by the NH Housing Finance Authority, which oversees the program.
On Oct 18, a published list by the Treasury revealed that New Hampshire was not among the 28 states that will continue to receive such funding. At the time, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen criticized Gov. Chris Sununu for the failure to obtain the larger award. The governor responded by pointing his finger at the Treasury Department for what he said was an unexpected move.
The state’s program has so far distributed over $240 million, with tenants receiving, on average, $10,047 each, according to recent state data.
In announcing the new funding, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen continued to criticize what she called “the unnecessary hurdles created by the state’s mismanagement of the program.” She also praised the Biden administration for the new latest smaller award, saying the funds “can help bridge the gap and allow New Hampshire households to access assistance, but resources will be needed to meet the demand.” She said she continue to work with the state’s Action Programs, NH Housing and others “to make sure New Hampshire families have the assistance needed to stay safely housed this winter.”