NH officials are scrambling to raise funds for winter housing assistance

As federal funds for rent assistance are running low, New Hampshire officials are trying to get help for more people over the winter next month. The state office, which manages funding for the emergency relief, said it was concerned for the hundreds of people who are using those funds to live in hotels and motels. Officials at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Reconstruction said it helps about 2,000-3,000 people every week. A new proposal calls for $20 million to extend the program through the winter for those living in hotels and motels that would pay for rooms for individuals and couples through April and families through June. The bureau said it intends to cap the cost of the room at $200 per night. It has also requested $3 million for New Hampshire Housing and the five state Community Action Agencies to work with program participants to find more permanent housing, housing, and other resources such as fuel and energy assistance. “We combine and leverage all of these resources to put people in the best possible situation,” said Ryan Clouthier of Southern New Hampshire Services. The state has asked the US Treasury Department for $100 million for more rental support, but so far the federal government has pledged $4 million. On average, the program costs about $5 million per week. “That gives us a much bigger cushion over this period,” Caswell said. A committee has approved the new funding, but further approvals are needed before those in the program are guaranteed to help through the winter.

As federal funds for rent subsidies run low, New Hampshire officials are trying to get help for more people over the winter.

In the past year and a half, 25,000 people in New Hampshire have applied for rent assistance, but federal funding for the program expires next month. The state office, which manages the emergency relief funding, said it was concerned about the hundreds of people using those funds to live in hotels and motels.

Officials with the governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Reconstruction said it helps about 2,000 to 3,000 people each week. A new proposal provides $20 million to extend the program through the winter for those living in hotels and motels.

“We believe this is the population most in need during the winter months,” said Taylor Caswell, associate director of GOFERR.

The new funding would fund single and couple rooms through April and families through June. The bureau said it wants to set a loose $200 per night cap on the cost of the room.

It has also asked for $3 million for New Hampshire Housing and the five state Community Action Agencies to work with program participants to find more permanent housing and other resources such as fuel and energy assistance.

“We combine and leverage all of these resources to put people in the best possible situation,” said Ryan Clouthier of Southern New Hampshire Services.

The state has asked the US Treasury for $100 million for more rent subsidies, but so far the federal government has pledged $4 million. On average, the program costs about $5 million per week

“It gives us a much bigger cushion during this time,” Caswell said.

A committee has approved the new funding, but further approvals are needed before program participants are guaranteed help through the winter.

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