Thank you for your inquiry into the New Hampshire Housing Relief Program, an initiative of the NH Governor’s Office for Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) funded by federal CARES Act dollars. In partnership with the GOFERR, the NH Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Housing Supports, and our fellow Community Action Programs across the state, Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc. (CAPBMCI) is working to ensure that these vital CARES Act dollars are distributed throughout central New Hampshirecommunities to avert housing crises. Even if a tenant is not eligible for these specific funds, CAPBMCI offers many other rental assistance programs that may be able to help your tenants in this trying time. All households filling out an application for NH HRP Funds will also be assessed for assistance from our other programs.
We hope you will join us by encouraging your tenants to apply to this program. Please note that income is not the determining factor in eligibility. Households need to demonstrate how their ability to pay their housing costs has been impacted by COVID-19, either through increased expenses or lost income.
How the NH Housing Relief Program can help your tenants:
One-time assistance grants can be used to assist households with:
- Past-due rent from April 2020 forward for households that fell behind on rent payments due to either increased household expenses or lost household revenue as a result to COVID-19; and/or
- Past-due utilities to include electricity, heat, internet and cell phone that may impact an individual’s/families’ ability to remain housed;
- The grant is not to exceed $2,500; conditioned on COVID-19 related loss of household income or increased household expenses. This grant program targets those households who will be able to maintain their housing without assistance after the one-time assistance payment.
Short-term rental assistance program will provide short-term rental assistance to maintain or secure permanent housing. Includes:
- Past-due rent that was not paid due to a COVID-19 related inability to pay and ongoing rental assistance on a short-term basis using progressive engagement. The rental assistance will decrease over time as households regain stability; or
- First month’s rent and ongoing short-term rental assistance to assist with initial costs to facilitate the transition of working households from shelters into permanent housing.
Both the one-time grants and the short-term rental assistance are coupled with regional case management services to help connect households to other supportive services.
Program payments are made directly to the property owner or provider. This program will be available until December 30, 2020.
How Tenants Apply:
An electronic application is made available at www.bm-cap.org (by clicking the green “APPLY For Services NOW”button on the Housing Relief Program pop-up page) or at the NH Community Action Partnership website at www.capnh.org (be sure to choose the Community Action Program icon for Belknap and Merrimack County households). We highly encourage every person to attempt the online application, as this is the fastest way to apply. Tenants without internet service and those who prefer a paper application may call 603-856-9104 to speak with a Housing Specialist. Anyone needing assistance with an on-line application may either call a Housing Specialist or email us at HousingSuport@bm-cap.org.
What Happens Next?
Once a household applies, they receive an email from our Agency confirming that we have received their application and anything else we need to process that application. Landlords may request this email from tenants as proof of application; however, this does not guaranty that a household will be deemed eligible for benefits. Tenants must supply supporting documentation to verify items such as income and expenses. Once all the required documentation is received by our office and the application is deemed complete, payments are processed within 7 business days. A check is mailed directly to the Landlord.
While Landlords may not apply directly on behalf of tenants, they may support a tenant’s application and expedite the approval process by providing tenants with:
- A copy of their current W-9
- Current lease
- Letter of demand (if applicable)
Once a tenant applies, Landlords may also provide CAPBMCI with those documents directly by securely emailing them to HousingSuport@bm-cap.org. Be sure to clearly indicate the tenant(s) for whom you are providing this information.We’re happy to provide information as to the status of a tenant’s application; however, we will need a signed Release of Information from the client prior to exchanging information.
COVID-19 has certainly presented challenges for all of us across the state. Here at Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, our Housing Stability Staff are pleased to be a part of a statewide response, in partnership with the GOFERR, The Department of Health and Human Services, and our fellow Community Action Programs, to assist those experiencing housing instability due to COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to support your tenant in accessing this program.