CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Some renters facing eviction during the coronavirus pandemic would get extra time to come up with cash under a bill before a House committee Tuesday.
The measure sponsored by Rep. Casey Conely, D-Dover, would require courts to pause eviction cases for 30 days if the renter has applied for help from a federal, state or local housing assistance program.
“This 30-day period just gives people facing eviction this narrow window to pursue this support before they lose their home,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s a temporary, critical lifeline for tenants facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.”
While there is a federal eviction ban in place, that will expire in March. Conley said his goal is to address the uncertainty around that ban, as well as the lengthy process of applying for assistance. The next round of federal virus relief funding will include $200 million for rental and utility help in New Hampshire, but those programs have yet to be set up.
Nick Norman of the Apartment Association of New Hampshire spoke against the bill.
“We don’t think there needs to be anything else to confuse the eviction process. This is very late to the party. Vaccines are coming out, the $200 million is coming out. We have landlords that are suffering from tenants that have not paid rent since February of last year. It’s just ridiculous,” he said.
More than 66,000 people have tested positive for the virus, including 328 cases announced Tuesday that included numbers from two days. Seven additional deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,066.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 794 new cases per day on Jan. 18 to 470 new cases per day on Monday.
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