The following is a list of resources for people whose housing situation is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please understand that this is a fast evolving situation and we will do our best to update this page regularly as new resources come online. For general housing resources, please visit our resources page.
GENERAL STEPS TO TAKE
Document Loss of Income
This may be important when applying for assistance or waivers later. Save all communication from employers, get any change in employment, reduction in hours or release from employment in writing. Save and/or scan pay stubs that show full income as well as any that show a reduction in hours/income.
Apply for Unemployment Benefits
Phase III COVID-19 Bill package extends unemployment benefits to part-time and self employed people. This law change will provide full income for up to 13 weeks.
A new call-in system will start Monday (3/30/20) for the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center (877-664-6984).
Applicants with a Social Security number or TIN ending in 0 through 3 should call on Mondays; last number ending in 4 though 6, call Tuesdays; last number ending in 7 through 9, call Wednesdays. If applicants miss their designated day, they will be able to call Thursdays and Fridays.
Filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of an individual claim. Claims are effective on the Sunday of the week filed.
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
According to the Department of Workforce Solutions, the most efficient way to file unemployment claims is online at jobs.state.nm.us.
IF YOU ARE HOMELESS
Homeless assistance in Santa Fe is managed through a coordinate entry process for all local homeless assistance services. To access this please call the NM Coalition to End Homelessness Coordinated Entry hotline: (505) 772-0547 or email Kate Cleaver at Kate-C@nmceh.org
St. Elizabeth’s and Pete’s Place are providing hotel rooms to provide appropriate social distancing.
NMCEH also has a current list of COVID-19 related health and safety resources
IF YOU CAN’T PAY YOUR RENT
The City of Santa Fe Emergency Order prevents eviction due to COVID-19 income disruption. Please refer to this Q&A which explains what is, and what is not covered. A lot is not covered, such as the end of a lease term.
The New Mexico Supreme Court has put a stay on all evictions statewide. It’s important to remember that these orders do not relieve you of a responsibility to respond to a court hearing, and they do not remove your responsibility to pay rent. What this means it that, while you can’t be evicted, unpaid rent is still accruing, and in some cases, if your landlord can’t pay the underlying mortgage, the property may be at risk of foreclosure.
The first step to take is to talk to your landlord as soon as you realize you aren’t able to pay rent!
If your landlord is unable to pay their mortgage due to lack of rent collection, encourage them to call their mortgage lender and request a forbearance
A forbearance essentially pauses a mortgage . Many banks are offering this option for owners of rental units if the renter is unable to pay their rent. Generally, the property owner must pass this benefit on to renters by not charging rent while in forbearance.
IF YOU CAN’T PAY YOUR MORTGAGE
First, talk to your lender as soon as you anticipate not being able to pay a mortgage payment in full.
The available options are dependent on who your lender is. Nearly all lenders are offering some form of assistance or leeway for COVID-19 financial impacts. The American Banking Association website has a complete listing of what assistance is being offered by your bank. America’s Credit Unions have a similar listing.
Generally, lenders recommend making whatever payment you can, even if it’s less than full payment.
A mortgage forbearance is an agreement between you and your mortgage lender/servicer that lets you either stop making payments or lower your payments to an affordable level on a temporary basis during your hardship.
IF YOU CAN’T PAY UTILITY BILLS
City of Santa Fe Water
The City is placing a moratorium on water shut-offs for non-payment of the bill. Customers need to contact the Water Utility to make payment arrangements, or to find out if there are subsidies for which they qualify.
If you need help or have questions visit: www.santafenm.gov/
PNM has enacted a shutoff moratorium. If you need longer term help with your bill visit PNM’s Help Page. PNM’s Good Neighbor Fund is also helping people who can’t pay, call 505-967-8045 for assistance.
New Mexico Gas Company
NM Gas Co. has suspended gas shutoffs. If you need longer term help with gas bills visit NM Gas’s COVID-19 resources page.
Xfinity is extending programs for low income household to have access to internet during the crisis. This program provides internet access for qualifying families for $9.95 a month. They are also increased speed for this service and providing the first two months of access for free. More information is available on their website.
PROTECTING YOUR CREDIT
It may be a distant thought for most folks but here are some tips from Experian on how to protect your credit rating through any disruption caused by the COVID-19 financial hardship.
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