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NM offers pandemic aid to homeowners

The state Capitol in Santa Fe this spring. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – New Mexico has launched a pilot program that will provide grants of up to $10,000 to help homeowners facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State officials say it’s the first of its kind in the country and designed specifically to help homeowners struggling amid the pandemic, rather than renters.

The effort will start as a pilot project with $1 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan for six months, then expand into a $52 million program upon approval by the federal government.

The state has a similar emergency program aimed at renters and landlords, but some applicants haven’t been eligible because they’re homeowners who need help on their mortgage.

“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is off and running to help renters, but we know homeowners are facing the same challenges,” Finance and Administration Secretary Debbie Romero said in a written statement. “We are taking a proactive push to get this assistance to New Mexicans.”

Her department is working with the state Mortgage Finance Authority, which will make payments directly to mortgage, loan, escrow or similar companies.

The aid is designed to cover past-due and current mortgage payments for New Mexicans who meet income requirements and have faced financial hardship associated with the pandemic.

To qualify, a household income cannot exceed 100% of the area median income.

To learn more or apply, visit housingnm.org or call 505-308-4206 or 866-488-0498. It’s called the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund.

For the program targeted at renters, visit renthelpnm.org.


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