Homeowner Assistance Fund to close March 8

FILE- In this June 15, 2018, file photo, twenty dollar bills are counted.

FILE- In this June 15, 2018, file photo, twenty dollar bills are counted. Elise Amendola

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-27-2024 5:25 PM

A state program for struggling homeowners created with federal pandemic funding will close down next week as its money runs out.

Since 2022, the New Hampshire Homeowners Assistance Fund helped residents to pay costs throughout the pandemic – like property taxes, mortgages and utility bills. Now, New Hampshire Housing, which oversees the program, has announced the application will close on March 8. 

New Hampshire received $50 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for the program. As of February 27, $36.5 million was distributed. 

Homeowners were eligible to receive up to $40,000 in assistance. Over 3,000 households received some aid, with the most applications from Hillsborough County. 

The majority of the funding  – $19.4 million – was used to pay mortgages. Property tax relief followed, with $10 million distributed. New Hampshire has the highest property tax burden in the country, according to the Tax Foundation, a think tank in Washington D.C.

The Homeowner Assistance Fund offered a unique form of relief to taxpayers in the state. While other programs offer tax credits and exemptions to reduce annual bills slightly, no program provided the level of assistance that the federal funding established. 

The program paused the application process in December and began reviewing requests on a first come first serve basis, as funding began to dwindle. Now, no new applications will be accepted after March 8 and a wait list will be formed for those who applied prior to the deadline.  

Editor’s note: The Concord Monitor, in partnership with Report for America and the Investigating Editing Corps, is working on a series of stories examining the pressure of property taxes. If you have faced a tax deed or lien, or struggled year to year to pay your property tax bill and would like to share your story, please contact reporter Michaela Towfighi at mtowfighi@cmonitor.com.

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