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NH News

Pilot program to prevent evictions in Manchester will soon expand to Nashua

Signs hanging at the Manchester Circuit Court advertise the assistance available to tenants facing eviction. One reads: "Are you here for an eviction based on non-payment of rent or other charges? Help for landlords and tenants is available today! Go to the Second Floor Clerk's Office to learn more and apply for aid."
Casey McDermott, NHPR
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Southern New Hampshire Services has been helping tenants and landlords access emergency rental and utility aid at the Manchester Circuit Court since September. Based on the success of that program, they're expanding into Nashua.

A pilot program designed to help people avoid eviction for missed rent payments during the pandemic is expanding into Nashua this week.

Since September, Southern New Hampshire Services has sent a staffer to the Manchester Circuit Court to provide on-site rental assistance for tenants and landlords, to make it easier for the millions of dollars of federal emergency rental assistance to reach those at risk of losing their homes due to nonpayment.

So far, Southern New Hampshire Services says they’ve been able to prevent more than 80 evictions thanks to this partnership with the courts.

“Having our presence in the court itself gives us an opportunity to expedite the process and make it work quickly and more effectively for those that are faced with eviction,” says Ryan Clouthier, the agency’s deputy director.

Given the success of the program in Manchester, Southern New Hampshire Services plans to bring a similar effort at the Nashua Circuit Court beginning on Wednesday.

Courthouse rental assistance is meant to help tenants and landlords who have imminent eviction hearings. Those who need assistance with emergency rental aid but don’t have an eviction hearing scheduled soon in Manchester or Nashua can visit CAPNH or call 2-1-1 for help.

“Whether or not they're in court or not, if they're faced with a difficult situation just reach out to a community action agency and make sure you apply as soon as possible,” Clouthier says.

What to bring to court if you need help with emergency rental assistance:

  • Tenants should bring current documents verifying their income like 2020 tax forms, the last month of pay stubs or a benefit determination letter from WIC, SNAP or another public benefit program. Tenants can also self-certify their income on their rental application. If applying for utility assistance, also bring copies of current utility bills.
  • Landlords should bring a valid W-9 for payment, a lease agreement or tenant-at-will form, and a rent ledger or rent arrearage form. Some of those forms will be available at the court.

To learn more about the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program, visit CAPNH.org or call 2-1-1. For questions about a pending eviction case, contact the New Hampshire Court Information Center at 1-855-212-1234. For legal advice or support, you can also contact 603 Legal Aid at 1-800-639-5290.