New Mexicans Dodge Imminent Evictions Faced by Many U.S. Renters
Friday, July 30, 2021
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as long as they file the appropriate paperwork to receive financial assistance.
New Mexico has local and state eviction moratoriums in place, even as the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire tomorrow.
Brie Sillery - communications strategist with the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness - said it's a good thing there's no immediate change in the state, because most homeless shelters are at capacity.
"We are operating with a homeless response system already inundated," said Sillery, "and, because of the financial implications of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in people that are living on the street."
The pandemic caused many to lose their jobs and fall behind on rent and utility payments. Sillery estimates 60,000 to 80,000 New Mexico households would be facing eviction without the state and local moratoriums.
Renters or landlords facing financial difficulties can find help through "renthelpnm.org" - but must apply by August 30.
Sillery said New Mexico has about $150 million available in federal aid for rent and utility assistance to households experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
"What we want to do now is ensure that, as New Mexicans are seeing the federal moratorium come to an end, that both tenants and landlords know that they are still protected," said Sillery.
The Biden administration said Wednesday it lacks the authority to require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the moratorium past this weekend, and called on Congress to pass legislation to do so.
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