COVID update: Housing and utility help available as evictions, cutoffs become possible

  • NH DHHS—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 6/29/2020 10:00:15 PM

Grants and loans are being made available for people facing problems paying rent or utilities as moratoriums on evictions and utility cut-offs come to an end over the next two weeks.

At the same time, Gov. Sununu said the state budget is facing a whopping shortfall of revenue totaling perhaps $540 million, or roughly one-fifth of the entire budget, due to pandemic-related economic changes.

“This is all major state funds, general fund, education, highway trust fund,” Sununu said. For the moment he said agencies are “putting a hold on new capital projects” as financial details become clearer.

A moratorium on evictions and foreclosures due to non-payment ends Wednesday, July 1 and a moratorium on utility cut-offs due to non-payment ends July 15.

Sununu said $35 million of federal CARES Act funds would be available in the form of grants and loans for households facing evictions, and millions would be available for similar help in terms of cut-offs of electric, water, gas or internet connections.

For details on availability and to apply, people can call 2-1-1 or go to CapNH.org, a site for Community Action Partnership.

Care facility testing finds cases

The first two weeks of a major surveillance program at nursing homes and long-term care facilities reflects the importance of testing to curtail outbreaks.

Health and Human Services Director Lori Shibinette said Tuesday at a press conference that the program, which involves testing all staff and 10% of residents of nursing homes once a week “in two rounds found 15 asymptomatic cases in 10 facilities: 13 staff, 2 residents.”

Because these people were asymptomatic – that is, not showing any signs – they were not isolated and could be spreading the virus.

“We were able to get them into isolation and so not able to transmit the virus,” she said. “What this says is (the testing) is working.”

It also underlines the importance of frequent re-testing.

“In some cases people who were positive were tested the week prior and were negative,” she said.

Numbers continue to improve

New Hampshire on Monday recorded the lowest number of new cases of COVID-19 since March 24 in the early days of the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services said 14 more cases were confirmed Monday.

For hospitalizations, the 14-day average of new cases going to the hospital has fallen to the lowest point since the average began being tallied on April 1, just 3.3.


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