Monday, September 20, 2021

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The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.

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Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.

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Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Legal Aid: Know Your Rights as CDC's Eviction Moratorium Ends

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- Legal aid groups urged residents to know their rights to a fair court process as tenants, and to apply for rental assistance if they're struggling to make their housing payments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month.

Marta Hurgin, staff attorney for 603 Legal Aid, said while there's no data on exactly how many people are being protected by the moratorium, there is likely to be a large uptick in evictions for unpaid rent due to loss of income during the pandemic, or reduction of hours.

"People are waiting four to six weeks, sometimes longer, for money to come through from the New Hampshire rental assistance funds," Hurgin observed. "So that, combined with New Hampshire's low vacancy rate, certainly has us concerned."

The New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance program estimated it has provided more than $23 million in funds to more than 3,600 residents.

More than 100,000 Granite Staters in the most recent Census Bureau survey reported little or no confidence about making their next rent or mortgage payment on time.

The eviction freeze has faced multiple legal challenges, especially from landlords with mortgages to pay.

Hurgin noted there is plenty of money available through rental assistance to make landlords whole, but it may take some more time, which many tenants don't have.

"It's important to remember that tenants don't have to leave when the eviction notice expires," Hurgin explained. "They're entitled to their day in court, and they're entitled to raise any defenses that they may have to the eviction."

Hurgin noted Community Action Agencies are charged with dispersing rental assistance, and pointed to the application at capnh.org.

She urged those who are seriously concerned about facing eviction to contact 603 Legal Aid or New Hampshire Legal Assistance, where attorneys are available to give advice and, in some cases, even represent a tenant.


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