August 26, 2020 In the News

Delegation announces more than $39.5 Million to support affordable housing

Berlin Sun
August 26, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that New Hampshire, as well as housing authorities and agencies throughout the state, will receive $39,568,585 in federal funding allocated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support affordable housing for vulnerable Granite Staters during the COVID-19 crisis. Of these funds:

• $19,324,907 was awarded through the Community Development Block Grant program to the state of New Hampshire, which can be used to expand community health facilities, child care centers, food banks and senior services, as well as support eviction prevention, rental deposit assistance and homelessness prevention programs. The city of Rochester received an additional $404,214 in CDBG funding.

• $8,938,121 was awarded to the state of New Hampshire through the Emergency Solutions Grant program, which provides funding to help homeless people quickly regain permanent housing. The city of Manchester received an additional $1,810,236 in ESG funding.

• $3,839,240 was awarded to New Hampshire through the HOME program, which provides grants to states to help build, buy, and rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income households.

• $3,000,000 was awarded to New Hampshire through the Housing Trust Fund, which provides grants to states to produce and preserve affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households.

• $2,251,867 was awarded to housing authorities and agencies throughout the state via the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which is used to help low-income, disabled and elderly people afford safe and decent housing in the private market. The Berlin Housing Authority will receive $43,251, the Lancaster Housing Authority will receive $8,905, and the Northumberland Housing Authority will receive $2,543.

Funding in this announcement comes in addition to $11.7 million in federal funding that was awarded in April to assist New Hampshire’s vulnerable homeless population and to address other local needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as $3.6 million in CARES Act funds the New Hampshire congressional delegation announced in May to support affordable housing for Granite Staters impacted by this pandemic.

Shaheen said: “With the expiration of New Hampshire’s eviction moratorium, many vulnerable Granite Staters, including seniors, people with disabilities and working families, risk losing their homes with nowhere to go. Homelessness is a serious problem that has grown exponentially worse from the fallout of COVID-19.

“These federal funds help bolster and expand access to affordable housing in regions throughout our state. While I am pleased that these federal grants have been awarded, so much more must be done in order to protect those most at risk in our society and prevent the looming foreclosure and eviction crisis our nation faces.”

Hassan said: “The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the housing crisis in New Hampshire and across the country, and with the expiration of the eviction moratorium, many Granite Staters, including the elderly and those who experience disabilities, are in danger of losing their homes.”

Kuster said: “No one should have to worry about losing their home and not having a safe place to live, especially during a pandemic, but that is the grim reality many Granite Staters face.

“COVID-19 has worsened the housing crisis, and with the expiration of New Hampshire’s eviction moratorium, many families are struggling. This federal funding will improve access to affordable housing in our state and help those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”

The New Hampshire Congressional delegation have worked to protect Granite State homeowners and renters left vulnerable by the public health emergency. Last month, Shaheen sent a letter to HUD, calling on the agency to expedite the release of $4 billion of CARES Act funding for emergency housing. Shaheen also recently sent a bipartisan letter with Senator Hassan to Senate leadership urging a fix for a “maximum allotment” provision that limits the amount of CARES Act relief funds that can be awarded to smaller states through the Community Services Block Grant program.

These funds are used by Community Action Programs to help combat homelessness and address housing needs. Shaheen also called on HUD to address concerns she heard from New Hampshire housing officials and advocates earlier this month regarding CDBG-CV funding and guidance.

In addition, Shaheen and Hassan are cosponsors of the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, legislation that would establish an Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help families and individuals pay their rent and remain housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis.