Rent relief has helped over 41K ABQ residents - Albuquerque Journal

Rent relief has helped over 41K ABQ residents

Last year, the city of Albuquerque received $24 million in federal funds to help residents hurt by the pandemic make rent and utility payments.

But a partnership with the state of New Mexico ensured far more assistance made its way to city dwellers.

The city pooled its resources with the state’s much larger allotment, growing the initial pot to $185.5 million.

As of late September, $83.5 million of that has flowed back into the city.

“That’s why the partnership was so important – most renters in New Mexico are coming from the metro area, although we have been able to distribute the funds pretty proportionately to the counties and t

Lisa Huval, deputy director of housing for the City of Albuquerque. (Courtesy of City of Albuquerque)

he renters in (other) counties,” said Henry Valdez, a spokesman for the state.

Valdez said the money so far has benefitted 41,701 Albuquerque households, with average awards of $4,000 for rent and $750 for utility assistance.

Not everyone is eligible; only those making 80% or less of the area median income and meeting certain other criteria will qualify.

But Lisa Huval, the city’s deputy director for housing, said the assistance has still had a massive impact. Though the volume of money and applications have sometimes strained the state’s distribution system, she said, “I don’t know how we could call it anything other than a success.”

More federal money remains available. Valdez said the state has $49 million now and a possible allotment of $73 million next year.

The funds can be used for back or future rent, utility bills, and even “relocation” costs like first and last month’s rent or security deposits.

Support is also available for homeowners who need assistance with their mortgage.

For more information and to apply, visit nmhomefund.org.

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