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$1 Million Identified for Rental and Utility Assistance

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County commissioners have approved the opening of the Bernalillo County CARES Rental and Utility Assistance grant for qualified county residents.

The county has identified $1 million in emergency relief monies to assist residents who are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and who are delinquent in their rents or utility payments. 

Through this program, the county is offering up to $5,000 to qualifying residential renters located within Bernalillo County, including the City of Albuquerque.

“This literally hits people where they live. With this money, a lot of people can keep a roof over their heads and the heater on as we head into the cold months, says Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.  “This money can help every member of a family and keep them off the streets and in their homes.”

The application process begins Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 a.m. and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 4.  Applications can be found at www.bernco.gov/housing

These are the requirements needed to apply:

  • The dwelling unit must be located in Bernalillo County, including the City of Albuquerque
  • There must be an active rental agreement or lease in the applicant’s name
  • The rent must have been current as of March 13, 2020
  • The applicant must be able to document a loss of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Utilities must be in applicant’s name
  • Utilities must be past due or at risk of being disconnected
  • The household income must be at or below the area median income level (AMI) of $51,643 

* Additional eligibility or program requirements may apply

Those requesting rental assistance should provide documentation showing need, such as:

  • Current lease or rental agreement (required)
  • Past due notice for lease or rental payments
  • Eviction notice
  • Ledger or letter from landlord

In order to receive rental assistance, the landlord must also complete the landlord’s application and must supply:

  • Invoice with past due amount(s)
  • Bernalillo County master vendor form
  • W9

Those requesting utility payment assistance should provide documentation showing need, such as:

  • Past due utility bill
  • Disconnection notice

The Bernalillo County Housing Department has over 3,000 housing vouchers from various sources, including federal, state and behavior health funding.  Currently, all money for vouchers is fully allotted.  Additionally, the county fulfills requests from other agencies to utilize unspent housing vouchers.  Recent requests have come from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority for approximately $500,000 and Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The grant appropriation was approved by the commission on a 5 to 0 vote.

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About Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 676,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county.  Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $650 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff, and treasurer.