The deadline to apply for funding from the state's pandemic housing relief program is this Friday, December 18.
The program is funded through $20 million dollars of federal CARES Act money, and provides assistance for past rent due from April 2020 forward and short-term assistance to maintain or secure permanent housing.
To qualify, applicants have to show that their ability to pay for housing has been harmed by the effects of the pandemic.
Dawn McKinney is the policy director at New Hampshire Legal Assistance. She says after sending in an initial application, people need to be ready to submit the additional documentation demonstrating the effects COVID-19 has had on their income.
"We've talked to a couple of clients to help them troubleshoot about what documents would be sufficient to show the COVID-related reason, for example, their childcare cost going up or school's remote,” she said.
As of this week, about $9 million dollars of the allocated money has been distributed to 3,016 individuals across the state through local community action program agencies.
“The situation we’re seeing is that folks think they’ve applied, and that they’re finished,” she said. Some clilents say they applied, never heard back and assumed they were set.
But McKinney says it was likely that the community action program agency sent an email that ended up in junk mail, sent letter but the person was no longer at that address, or called a number that had been disconnected.
“Those are not uncommon things with folks that are struggling to pay their bills,” McKinney said. “It’s just trying to help connect folks.”
As for meeting Friday’s deadline, McKinney says getting in application sooner is better, and she says people should be on the lookout for an email confirmation that their application has been received.
Applications can be found at capnh.org.