SANTA FE – New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque have awarded $54 million in emergency rental aid and earmarked another $71 million for future awards, allowing the state to meet a critical federal deadline, state officials said.
The city and state had until Sept. 30 to spend or obligate 65% of $186 million in federal funds, or risk having the remainder swept back into the U.S. Treasury.
The money is intended to help families behind on their rent and utilities, but states across the country faced challenges getting the money out on time.
Recipients had to meet certain income requirements, for example, and the money could be used only for rent and utilities, not mortgage assistance for homeowners.
“Since day one, we have been working tirelessly to get this money to renters in New Mexico and, in doing so, we’ve created one of the best programs in the country,” Finance and Administration Secretary Debbie Romero said in a news release.
Participating households, officials said, have received on average about $4,000 in rent and $750 for utilities. There’s no cap on the amount of aid a qualified renter can receive.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can cover up to 12 months of owed rent and utilities. It can also cover three months of future rent and utilities.
Visit www.renthelpnm.org to learn more or apply.