Evictions Remain Steady in N.H., But Housing Advocates Worry About 2021 | New Hampshire Public Radio

Evictions Remain Steady in N.H., But Housing Advocates Worry About 2021

Nov 20, 2020

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Evictions in New Hampshire have been steady and relatively low since the state and federal moratorium on evictions ended this summer.

In the past month, there’s been a weekly average of about 50 evictions. That’s about a third lower than the weekly number of evictions happening prior to the pandemic, according to Elliott Berry, an attorney with New Hampshire Legal Assistance.

He says that's because rental assistance programs, unemployment benefits and a moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which started at the beginning of September, have helped people during this crisis.

“I think that was a big help. I think landlords were also more willing to work with their tenants than a lot of us expected,” he said.

The eviction situation this year hasn’t been as bad as he and other advocates had initially anticipated, but Berry says he's worried about what will happen next year, since the federal CARES act money -- and the CDC moratorium-- expires at the end of the year.

"Unless somebody steps in, the governor, the CDC, or Congress extending the period of time in which the community action agencies can spend the CARES money, if that doesn’t happen, I can’t imagine there won’t be a huge spike in evictions,” he said.

So far about 2,300 households have received about $6.7 million from the state’s $20 million housing relief fund.

Applications for that assistance are still open and can be accessed through local community action programs.