Rental assistance available for families affected by COVID
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque city leaders are urging renters to apply for rental assistance.
“I think we can all agree that the best way to address homelessness is to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place,” said Lisa Huval, the city’s deputy director of housing and homelessness.
According to Huval, Albuquerque residents have only used $513,000 of the $21.6 million available to help pay for things like back rent and utilities.
“We can use the funding to provide help with back rent and unpaid utility bills as well current rent and future utility bills for up to three months at a time,” she said.
The money is available on a first come, first sere basis.
Most people can apply at RentHelpNM.org.
The funds are for renters that are at or below 80% area median income, have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID and are at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
However, Bernalillo County, Dona Ana County and tribal lands have their own systems in place.
Huval told KOB the demand for assistance has been steady but that may increase once the eviction moratorium is lifted.
“So that’s offering some folks protection right now but that doesn’t make people’s back rent go away so folks still need to catch up on their rent,” said Huval.
The City of Albuquerque is partnering with the State of New Mexico Department of Finance & Administration to distribute these funds.
According to the state, they’ve approved about 250 awards worth $700,000 since they’ve started accepting applications.