NH officials seek more funding for housing assistance over winter

With federal funds about to run out for rental assistance, 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 requested rental assistance, but federal funds in that program run out next month. The state office that handles the emergency relief funding said it’s concerned for the hundreds of people who are using those funds to live in hotels and motels. Officials with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery said that on any given week, it’s helping roughly 2,000 -3,000 people. A new proposal would grant $20 million to extend the program through the winter for those living in hotels and motels.”We feel this is the population most needy going into the winter months,” said Taylor Caswell, deputy director of GOFERR. The new funding would pay for rooms for individuals and couples through April and for families through June. The office said it’s looking to set a loose cap of $200 a night for 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 those in the program to find more permanent housing and for other resources, such as fuel and energy assistance.”We are combining and leveraging all those resources to put people in the best situation we possibly can,” said Ryan Clouthier, of Southern New Hampshire Services. The state has asked the US Treasury Department for $100 million for more rental assistance, but so far, the federal government has pledged $4 million. On average, the program costs about $5 million per week “What this does is gives us much more of a cushion in that time period,” Caswell said. A committee has approved the new funding, but more approvals are needed before those in the program are guaranteed help through winter.

With federal funds about to run out for rental assistance, 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 requested rental assistance, but federal funds in that program ran out next month. The state office that handles the emergency relief funding said it is concerned for the hundreds of people who are using those funds to live in hotels and motels.

Officials with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery said that on any given week, it’s helping roughly 2,000-3,000 people. A new proposal would grant $20 million to extend the program through the winter for those living in hotels and motels.

“We feel this is the population most needy going into the winter months,” said Taylor Caswell, deputy director of GOFERR.

The new funding would pay for rooms for individuals and couples through April and for families through June. The office said it’s looking to set a loose cap of $200 a night for 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 those in the program to find more permanent housing and for other resources, such as fuel and energy assistance.

“We are combining and leveraging all those resources to put people in the best situation we possibly can,” said Ryan Clouthier, of Southern New Hampshire Services.

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

“What this does is gives us much more of a cushion in that time period,” Caswell said.

A committee has approved the new funding, but more approvals are needed before those in the program are guaranteed help through winter.

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