FAQ: 2nd Round Of COVID-19 Rental Assistance For Tenants & Landlords Begins March 15 | New Hampshire Public Radio

FAQ: 2nd Round Of COVID-19 Rental Assistance For Tenants & Landlords Begins March 15

Mar 13, 2021

New Hampshire is opening up its next round of assistance for rent, and utilities (including internet) at noon on Monday, March 15. We’re answering some frequently asked questions about who qualifies and the application process. What we answer here is a broad overview of the program. If you have more detailed questions, check out this FAQ from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

We're working on stories about the state's COVID housing assistance program.  Are you applying? If so, and you want to share your experience, reach out to our reporter Daniela Allee at dallee@nhpr.org.

Information for Tenants:

What will this assistance cover? 

Current and past due rent, and utilities, such as electricity, home heating costs, water, sewer and trash.

The rental assistance is retroactive to April 1, 2020 through the date of the application, and for future assistance for 12-15 months. 

Utility assistance is retroactive to March 13, 2020 for a period not to exceed 12 months (or 15 months when necessary to ensure housing stability, subject to funding availability), according to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. 

You do not need to already be receiving rental assistance in order to qualify for this new assistance. 

Who qualifies? 

As least one person in the household must have: 

  • qualified for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 OR
  • had income reduced due to COVID-19 OR
  • had significant costs due to COVID-19 OR
  • other financial hardship due to COVID-19 

-AND-

The household must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability, and meet certain income requirements. 

Click here for a town by town breakdown of income eligibility.

What’s the application process? 

Go to www.capnh.org to complete an online application, to print off a PDF application to mail in, or to find a number to call to request a paper application. You’ll be notified once the CAP receives the application, and a caseworker will reach out if additional information is needed. 

Applicants are then notified when their application is approved and when payments are sent on their behalf. 

You’ll need to know which of the five community action agencies serves your town. Click here to find your regional community action agency if you’re unsure.

What documents do you need to prove you qualify?

Paystubs, W-2 or other wage statements, documentation of unemployment benefits, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or attestation from employers. 

Household income is determined as EITHER

  • the household’s total income for calendar year 2020 OR
  • the household’s monthly income at the time of application.* 

*For households that prove eligibility based on current monthly income, you will need to provide that income information every three months.

Who gets the money? 

The NHHFA says that payments will go directly to landlords, property managers and utility providers when possible. 

But if your landlord or utility refuses to participate, payments may be made directly to the applicant.

What if I don’t have a printer or access to the internet?

Call your Community Action Agency or your local welfare agency, and find out how to get a paper application, says Elliott Berry, director of housing justice at New Hampshire Legal Assistance.

  • Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties: 603-225-3295
  • Community Action Partnership of Strafford County 603- 435-2500
  • Southwestern Community Services - (Keene Office) 603-352-7512 (Claremont Office) 603-542-9528
  • Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc. (603) 668-8010
  • Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc  (Covers Grafton, Carroll, Coos counties) (603) 752-7001

Download an application in English here or an application in Spanish here

Can I apply for this new round of funding if I received aid through the previous housing assistance program? 

Yes.

When is the deadline to apply?

Funds are available through December 31st, depending on availability. 

I live in a mobile/manufactured home and rent the land I’m on. Can I apply for the NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program?

Yes. The lot rent will be covered, but the park fees will not be covered.

I have a mortgage, do I qualify for assistance?

No. Unfortunately, under federal law the NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program is only available to renters. If you have a mortgage loan, please contact your loan servicer and ask how to get help. Click here for foreclosure intervention information and counseling provided statewide by AHEAD. 

Information for Landlords and Property Managers:

What do I need to apply on behalf of my tenant?

Landlords can start the process on behalf of their tenant by submitting an application with their tenant’s signature, a copy of the lease, and any copies of documentation of income from your tenant. 

The CAP agencies follow up with the tenants. 

Do I need to get permission from my tenant to apply on their behalf? 

Yes, you need to have your tenant’s signature on the application.