Help available to low-income residents hit by gas shortage
Low-income New Mexico residents who sustained damage to homes during freezing temperatures and a natural gas outage earlier this month can get help for needed repairs through the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.
DFA’s Local Government Division is making $1.1 million available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program.
Eligible participants can fund emergency repairs up to $2,000 for problems such as broken pipes, repairs to water heaters and furnaces and water damage to walls. New Mexico regional planning districts are taking applications through March 18.
To qualify, residents of affected areas must meet certain income limits depending upon family size and other localized factors. For example, a single mother in Espanola who has three children must have a total income of less than $35,900 to receive financial assistance under this program. Pueblos and tribes that receive direct funding from HUD are encouraged to submit applications to HUD’s office in Albuquerque.
The program is offered strictly for repairs on individual properties — weather-related damage from the utility meter to the home’s interior — and is not available for municipal or community projects. Also, this financial assistance is not available to homeowners who have home insurance and can file claims with their insurers.
Applications must be submitted through the various New Mexico regional planning districts to confirm eligibility. Officials will submit a list of qualified residents to DFA for review and approval.
Qualified residents, who already paid for eligible repairs, can seek reimbursement but receipts must reflect services performed after Feb. 1.
Interested residents should contact the regional planning office in their area.
Mid-Region Council of Governments, 505-247-1750
• Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties
Southwest Council of Governments, 575-388-1509
• Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties
Southeastern Economic Development, 575-624-6133
• Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln and Otero counties
South Central Council of Governments, 575-744-0039
• Dona Ana, Sierra and Socorro counties