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The state of New Mexico has created a new online portal to better help people apply for financial assistance if the pandemic put them at risk of eviction from a rental property, or foreclosure on their own homes.
The new portal for the New Mexico Home Fund can be accessed at nmhomefund.org, and is intended to remove some of the uncertainty about where New Mexicans need to go to apply for assistance. By answering a few preliminary questions online, the portal automatically transfers the visitor to either the Emergency Rental Assistance Program or the Homeowners Assistance Program, said Donnie Quintana, director for both funds, as well as director of the Local Government Division of the Department of Finance and Administration.
Under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, renters can receive assistance for past, current and future rent as well as utility payments for up to 15 months. The program has thus far provided aid in every county in New Mexico with 76,068 in awards totaling more than $167 million.
The Homeowners Assistance Program is being funded with $55 million. To date the program has provided over $8 million to 1,317 households.
Money for the funds came from federal allocations. The state oversees the funds, though it has contracted with the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority to administer the Homeowners program, Quintana said Friday.
In addition, the New Mexico Home Fund has supported eviction prevention efforts, including free legal representation for renters through New Mexico Legal Aid and the Eviction Prevention and Diversion program, which provides mediation between landlords and renters facing eviction.
Ultimately, “the goal is to the prevent homelessness and housing instability,” Quintana said.