State aims to set up $3 million relief program for homeowners
Executive Council to vote on effort to help with mortgage payments
In an item before the state’s Executive Council Wednesday, the state’s pandemic relief office has requested to set aside $3 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to create the New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Program.
The program would allow homeowners to recoup any costs associated with the pandemic, including mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities, and displacement.
The fund, which would be run by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, would allow those who qualify to cover expenses incurred after Jan. 21, 2020. It would last through September 2025.
“The New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Program will mitigate financial hardships suffered by New Hampshire residents associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible entities,” wrote Taylor Caswell, the director of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, in a request to the council.
If approved Wednesday, the program would join the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which allows people struggling to pay rent to apply for aid up to 12 months in the past or 15 months into the future.
That program has struggled to get relief funds to those who need it; as of June 18, the state had approved only 3,169 relief applications out of 6,460, state data shows.
The homeowners’ program is one of the first in over a year to be created and approved without an executive order. Gov. Chris Sununu ended the Covid-19 state of emergency on June 11, an action that meant large expenditures of federal funds must now go through the state’s Fiscal Committee and Executive Council.
The Legislative Fiscal Committee approved the funds earlier this month.