SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – The state of New Mexico announced that it will grant nearly $170 million of federal aid to New Mexicans for rental and utility assistance to “households experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Said the announcement, “The Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will administer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in partnership with the City of Albuquerque. New Mexicans can apply for assistance at www.RentHelpNM.org beginning April 5, 2021.”
“New Mexicans have persevered through incredible challenges this last year,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “My administration has stepped up not only to fight the health effects of the pandemic but to assist businesses and individuals at every single opportunity and this program is more of the same, as we put the dollars at our disposal to the best possible use: helping New Mexicans.”
“We know many New Mexicans require a variety of aid as a result of the pandemic, and as we acquire more funds, we will get the money out the door as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Finance and Administration Secretary Debbie Romero. “Our team has been working diligently on building this program from conception to launch.”
“Identifying New Mexicans in need of rental and utility assistance will take a collaborative effort, so in addition to our efforts, we hope to collaborate with nonprofits and other entities for community outreach, said Donnie Quintana, Local Government Division Director, and ERAP lead.
“This funding is an important extension of the safety net we have been providing for Albuquerque residents throughout the pandemic.” Said Mayor Tim Keller. “By teaming up with the state and local partners, we can streamline the application process and quickly get money to those in our community who need it to stay housed.”
Renters across the state are noted as eligible for the program — except for residents of Bernalillo County, Dona Ana County, and those who live in a pueblo or tribal area. Those two counties, as well as tribal governments, will reportedly administer their own Rental Assistance Programs. Those seeking assistance should review the current FAQ at www.RentHelpNM.org to learn more about eligibility and documentation needed for their application.
The state of New Mexico said that it will either pay the landlord and/or the utility provider directly depending on the financial assistance request by the applicant. Landlords and utility providers are encouraged to download a W9 and submit it to DFA via ERAVendor.Relations@state.nm.us as soon as possible to ensure a streamlined process for receiving payment.
For more information visit www.RentHelpNM.org.
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