The LARC Advocate
“We stand alone, together.”
A monthly newsletter from
Issue 13 | MARCH 2021
In this issue:
If you are a NH resident who cannot pay your rent and utility bills due to the COVID -19 pandemic, a new rental assistance program may be able to help. Apply beginning March 15, 2021 to see if you are eligible. Apply through your Community Action Partnership (CAP) at the link below.
- Funds can cover current and past due rent, as well as utility and home energy costs for eligible households.
- This assistance is available retroactive to April 1, 2020 through the date of application, and the applicant may also receive assistance for these same expenses going forward.
- Households may receive assistance for a total of 12 months.
- Payments will be provided directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the household. Landlords, with the tenant’s permission, may apply for assistance on behalf of their tenant.
- This program is only for eligible renters and landlords, not homeowners, per federal rules.
To be eligible, at least one person in the household:
- must qualify for unemployment benefits, had their income reduced,
- have had significant costs, or
- had other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- The household must also be at risk for homelessness and
- meet certain income requirements.
New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) and the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) offer free online help sessions for tenants facing eviction.
During these Eviction Clinics, legal aid attorneys and paralegals will explain tenants’ rights during an eviction and answer questions. They cannot provide legal advice for specific cases at the clinics.
The sessions will be recorded and available on NHLA’s YouTube channel.
NO SIGN UP NECESSARY
When: every other Wednesday, from 2-3:30 PM
March 10, March 24, April 7, April 21
More information: call 603-224-3333 or 1-800-639-5290.
Question: What happens if I must attend a hearing without a lawyer and I do not speak English?
Answer: You can ask the court for an interpreter in your language to be present at the hearing to interpret for you. There is no charge for this service but you should make your request to the court at least 7 days before the date of the hearing.
There are no walk-in free tax services available in New Hampshire this year. If you would like someone from NH Tax Help to contact you, please submit a request for help, and a volunteer will contact you. Because they anticipate a high volume, it may take up to 14 days for a volunteer to reach you.
Learn more from the IRS about free tax preparation.
“Jon” was a 60-year-old man living alone in an apartment in southern NH. Jon became seriously ill in early 2020 and underwent major surgery. For most of last year, he was out of work and ultimately fell $7K behind in rent. By the time Jon called the Legal Advice & Referral Center (LARC) for help in February of 2021, he had already been to eviction court for nonpayment of rent, lost, and was just days away from a sheriff’s lockout.
LARC advised that since Jon had already applied for rental assistance, he qualified for protection under the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) moratorium on nonpayment evictions. LARC emailed Jon a CDC declaration to sign, date, and deliver to his landlord; the declaration explained Jon’s right to remain in the apartment until the CDC moratorium expired on March 31. LARC also emailed Jon a motion to file at court which asked the judge to enforce the CDC moratorium by stopping the eviction.
Jon called LARC back a few days later with an update. Jon said his landlord had no problem abiding by the CDC moratorium, and the judge granted his motion. Jon said a social worker was helping him apply for the next round of housing relief funds. Jon’s landlord agreed to drop the eviction for good if he could get current with rent.
“You helped me out big time, buddy,” Jon told LARC. “You were my guardian angel.”
If you know someone who had a good outcome in a legal case due to LARC’s help, please share that Good Client Story with us! We would love to share it with our readers. LARC will never use a client’s real name or any facts that could reveal who that client is. Send your Good Client Stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Good Client Story” in the subject line.
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Equal justice for all should not depend on whether you can afford it.
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