Millions still available for emergency rental assistance

By:  Colton Shone

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico state congressional leaders say there is still $200 million in federal money to help during the pandemic. 

Volunteers helped New Mexicans fill out Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications at the state fairgrounds Tuesday. 

"All of the economic impacts from COVID have not been evenly distributed over the population. So there are a lot of people whose families, all of their jobs got shut down, while other folks who could work remotely, did okay. That's why this help is available,” Sen. Martin Heinrich said.

According to state officials, roughly $30 million have already gone out in rental and utility assistance. Awards vary by situation, but renters could get 12 months of past-due rent paid, and three months for future payments. 

"But right now, we've processed a little more than 12,000 applications,” said Col. Donnie Quintana, with the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.

Quintana said about 8,000 more have initiated applications – and have not submitted just yet.

"I know that so many of our families are struggling and really living on the edge. So the pandemic, has had impact on our families that outsizes other places," Rep. Melanie Stansbury said.

For more information about assistance and how to apply, visit RentHelpNM.org.