COVID-19 Housing Resources

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

Workforce solutions implemented a new call-in system  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

Evictions Prevention Resources

Currently, there is a statewide ‘stay’ on evictions and another national ban issued by the Center for Disease Control.

The CDC moratorium is in place through December 31, 2020 and only applies to non-payment cases.  To get the protections under the CDC moratorium, tenants have to attest that they:
  • meet income requirements ($99k annually for an individual or $198k for married couples), 
  • have sought governmental rental assistance,
  • will make efforts to pay rent or make partial payments, and 
  • will end up homeless or in an unsafe living environment (i.e. overcrowded) if they are evicted.

Click here for more information on the CDC ban and what it means.

The state Supreme Court has paused evictions for New Mexicans who prove that they are unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Click for an eviction FAQ sheet on the New Mexico Courts website.

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. You can also be evicted for other reasons not related to nonpayment, including breach of other lease terms or the expiration of a lease. Click here for an eviction fact sheet

To invoke the CDC order preventing ALL landlords from taking ANY action to evict tenants for non-payment fill out this form and give it to your landlord:
English
Español

Tenants can file this motion to dismiss if their landlord has filed an eviction case against them after they let their landlord know that they are invoking the protections of the CDC order:
http://nmpovertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Motion-to-Dismiss.pdf

New Mexico Legal Aid has a page that provides information on representing yourself, and the City of Albuquerque created this flowchart to help guide the process of representing yourself through an eviction hearing as well as this factsheet that outlines tenant rights under NM law. 

If you have to represent yourself in court, check the NM Courts website for the latest information about special procedures, court closures and updated eviction ban information.

Chainbreaker Collective has created an eviction hotline which is open Monday-Thursday during normal office hours: 505-577-5481

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. 

You can also visit New Mexico’s “I Need Assistance” website for important information for families facing financial hardship. 

Santa Fe County Resources: The County of Santa Fe has released its’ Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (“ERMAP”). ERMAP is a grant program designed to provide temporary, emergency rental and mortgage assistance to qualifying applicants residing within the jurisdiction boundaries of Santa Fe County (the “County”) in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Pandemic”).

  • The purpose of ERMAP is to assist qualifying households where an adult member of the household has lost employment, been furloughed or has incurred significant reduction in income as a result of the Pandemic, and to provide emergency hotel vouchers to qualifying applicants who have experienced homelessness as a result of the Pandemic.
  • ERMAP is intended to assist qualifying households maintain adequate housing, or gain adequate housing in order to meet the emergency housing needs of the citizens of the County, and in doing so, to additionally provide support to landlords and property management companies who have received a reduction in rent revenue as a result of the Pandemic.
  • For more information, click here: ERMAP P&P’s Final.
  • Click here for an Application: Complete Application – ERMAP_9.24.2020.
  • Click here for Contractor Letter of Recommendation: Letter of Recommendation – ERMAP.

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

Click for a quick fact sheet for keeping your utilities on during the health crisis.

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/customer_service_and_utility_billing or call 505-955-4333

PNM/Electricity

PNM announced that it will set aside $2 million for new COVID Customer Relief Programs to help struggling residential and small business customers pay their past due electric bills. The funds came from shareholders.

These new PNM COVID Customer Relief Programs are designed to deliver assistance for both residential and small business customers who are behind on their bill and need a hand in getting their account in better status to avoid an interruption of electric service down the road, and ultimately breathe a sigh of relief when they are facing a large past due balance. 

To receive financial assistance under the new PNM COVID Customer Relief Program:

  • Residential customers eligible based on household income.

  • $50-$200 per eligible residential customer, $150-$200 per eligible small business. Amount of financial assistance provided will vary depending on how much is past due.

  • Qualified customers must pay at least 25% of the past-due balance

  • Must apply no later than December 31, or until funds last, by calling PNM at 855-364-2950 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM – 6 PM or at PNM.com.

  • Assistance is available first come, first serve. Full list of eligibility and requirements is available at PNM.com/help

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.

Comcast/Xfinity Internet

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. 

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM COVID SCAMS

COVID Scams

If you are called by a contact tracer:  A legitimate contact tracer will not ask for a payment or a credit card number.  A legitimate contact tracer will not ask for your social security number.  A legitimate contact tracer will not ask for your immigrant status.  DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR CLICK ON A LINK from a contact tracer.  

If there’s another stimulus payment, you won’t have to pay to get it. Just like last time. Nobody will call to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. If there is another stimulus payment, people who qualify would get money direct-deposited, or you’d get a debit card or check mailed to the address you use for your taxes. In the meantime, don’t pay to get any economic impact payment, and keep your info to yourself.

Don’t pay for job “opportunities.” Scammers know that lots of people need to find a job, and they’ll be happy to charge you for what winds up being nothing. Scammers also pay for online ads, promising you ways to earn money online. But do your research before you sign up — and certainly before you pay.

Never pay up front for mortgage help. In fact, it’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you with your mortgage — but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying. If you find yourself behind on your mortgage, talk with your mortgage servicer right away to see what options you have. And whether you own or rent, it’s worth talking with a legal services organization if you are having trouble paying rent or your mortgage. 

Watch out for bogus credit card interest rate reduction offers.  A number of companies are contacting people by phone to offer reduced interest rates on your credit card – promising zero percent interest– but these offers may be fraudulent and may include undisclosed fees, including balance transfer fees.  These callers often ask for your social security number, credit card numbers and other personal information and then use this information to defraud you again.  Hang up on unsolicited pre-recorded sales calls and do not share personal information with telemarketers who call you out of the blue.


If you have additional resources to add to this list, or questions please contact us at info@santafehousingaction.org