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HUD increases rental assistance thresholds; more county residents can seek help


Even as the American economy recovers from the devastating impact of the pandemic, many Doña Ana County residents still face steep rental debt and fear eviction or loss of basic housing, the county said in a news release.

To help, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides funds to help households pay rent and utilities. In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released income guidelines for 2022, setting an increased amount for household income. These guidelines, which outline household size in relation to income and location, determine eligibility for many government assistance programs, including ERAP, the county said.

Doña Ana County has experienced great success with ERAP, which it facilitates through funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To date, 1,400 households have been served with $9,325,688.03 in assistance disbursed to them. The recent income limit increase for households will enable more residents to be eligible for assistance.

To qualify for ERAP, applicants must be at least or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). Since the median income for the county increased, more applicants can qualify.

Here are the HUD eligibility guidelines at 80 percent of AMI for 2021 and 2022, based on the number of individuals in a household needing assistance to pay rent:

Household size 1: 2021: $30,600, 2022: $34,200;

Household size 2: 2021: $35,000, 2022: $39,050;

Household size 3: 2021: $39,350, 2022: $43,950;

Household size 4: 2021: $43,700, 2022: $48,800;

Household size 5: 2021: $47,200, 2022: $52,750;

Household size 6: 2021: $50,700, 2022: $56,650;

Household size 7: 2021: $54,200, 2022: $60,550;

Household size 8: 2021: $57,700, 2022: $64,450.

“This is big and welcome news because we often have cases where residents fall just outside of the qualification’s guidelines by hundreds of dollars,” Doña Ana County Grant Administrator Rudy Reyes said. “Now, we can reach out to those residents to complete their application, in hopes of helping many more households recover from their financial setback.”

Some county community centers have staff on-hand to help with applications. The county is working to find public locations to place the applications in areas without a community center.

Call 575-525-5898 to schedule assistance with filling out an application.

Visit www.donaanacounty.org and www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2022/2022summary.odn.

Visit www.donaanacounty.org/ERAP to learn more about the program and eligibility.