SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – The New Mexico Public Education Department is encouraging New Mexico’s families to apply for programs that help pay mortgage or rental bills to keep students at home and in school. According to a press release from NMPED, the federal government has Emergency rental assistance program was created to reduce evictions or interruptions to utility services due to financial challenges due to the pandemic. The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund is offering grants of up to $ 10,000 to help maintain housing and reduce pandemic-related housing costs.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for so many New Mexico families who, in one way or another, have lost their jobs or incomes due to the pandemic,” said Ryan Stewart, secretary of state for public education, in a department press release. “We owe it to our children to keep their families intact and at home so that they can concentrate on their education as usual without having to worry about suddenly being uprooted.”
The press release said the state is distributing nearly $ 170 million to eligible families as part of the Emergency Rental Assistance program to repay current or future rent and utility bills.
According to a press release by the PED, eligible households can receive support for up to 15 months. Renters are eligible for the program – with the exception of residents of Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties and those who live in a pueblo or tribal area, the press release said. These districts and tribal governments become theirs own rental assistance programs.
The press release states that rental grant applications can be made by an eligible household or landlord and the funds will be paid out directly to landlords and utilities. However, if a landlord does not wish to participate, the funds can be paid directly to the eligible household.
The press release states that in addition to the rental support, the New Mexico Home Help Fund, a six-month pilot program worth $ 1 million, was announced this week and is the first government program designed specifically for homeowners.
To participate in the program, household income cannot exceed 100 percent of the region’s median income. Applications can be submitted online at Housingnm.org or by calling 505.308.4206 or toll free 866.488.0498 to request a paper application.
For more information, visit nmdfa.state.nm.us/Office-of-the-Secretary/Notfall-Miethilfe-Programm.
NMPED also says the following other utilities are available to eligible New Mexicans: