WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1,621,186 to public housing authorities in 14 counties across New Mexico for rental assistance for families, individuals, and owners amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant is funded by the $850 million provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for administrative and other expenses incurred by public housing authorities to implement key programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher program and Tenant Based Rental Assistance. New Mexico previously received over $16.7 million for emergency housing funds across the state to keep more people in homes during the dual economic disruption and public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current funding will help defray administrative costs for local governments as they grapple with a revenue shortfall.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life across the country and in communities across New Mexico,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “With the current economic upheaval, I am fighting to make sure that New Mexicans have safe and well-built housing, especially when we are asking people to stay at home to reduce the spread of this virus. The grants awarded today will help sustain local public housing authorities as they process an unprecedented need for secure and reliable public housing. As we return to Washington this week, I will continue to prioritize housing resources and other services that New Mexicans need to stay safe, healthy and financially afloat during this challenging time.”
“During this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, the last thing New Mexico families should be worrying about is keeping a roof over their heads. I am proud to support this critical funding from the CARES Act that will help families all across New Mexico stay in their homes during these difficult months. Ensuring housing security right now is absolutely essential to protecting our health and safety because staying home is one of the most effective ways for us to stop the spread of the virus,” said Heinrich. “I will continue doing everything in my power to fight for the resources New Mexico needs for a strong public health response that is rooted in science and to build a broad economic recovery in all of our communities.”
“Public housing assistance is more crucial than ever as New Mexicans are encouraged to stay home when possible to stop the spread of this pandemic. I’m glad that this funding will also help cover the costs for local governments. It’s critical that we do more to support local government during this crisis, which is why I’ve introduced legislation to provide an additional $250 billion in assistance,” said Luján. “These HUD grants will bolster our public housing authorities at a time when they are critically-needed, and I will continue fighting to meet the needs of New Mexicans during this trying time.”
“No one should have to worry if they’re going to lose their housing during a pandemic, but as I talk to New Mexico families every week, I’m hearing that more folks are facing cuts to their hours or layoffs which makes it hard to pay the rent. We included rent assistance in the CARES Act, so families can focus on staying healthy without having to worry about how they’re going to keep a roof over their heads, and I am going to keep fighting for more housing relief,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
“In the face of economic uncertainty, New Mexicans continue to rise to meet ongoing challenges from COVID-19. During this difficult time, reliable and safe housing is essential to supporting families as they work to put food on the table and follow public health directives. I’m pleased to see this funding from the CARES Act reach our local governments to help sustain public housing. As New Mexicans stay at home and physically distance to protect each other, I will continue to work to ensure families have access to all federal resources available,” said Torres Small.
The full breakout of the $1,621,186 in funding is below: