One of the ways LRCD works to address the homelessness crisis is through eviction prevention. Here at LRCD, eviction prevention means pro-active, targeted services and financial assistance to families who are at-risk of being evicted. Our goal is to stop homelessness before it happens. This is a very cost-effective way to address the crisis of homelessness.
Our intentional focus on eviction prevention started with the pandemic because we faced an immediate crisis with many tenants out of work or unable to work due to illness or lack of child care. We began earlier and more coordinated outreach to tenants who showed up on the collections list, in collaboration with property management. We helped tenants fill out applications to the federally funded NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP), which provided money to pay rental arrearages, past due utility balances, and in some cases, three months of rent going forward. In cases where someone was not eligible for NHERAP, we provided direct financial assistance from a small eviction prevention fund that we established in 2020.
We find this approach to be highly effective. We are very proud to say that over the course of the entire pandemic, we have not evicted anyone who is engaged with our resident services program for non-payment of rent. In 2022, we provided eviction prevention services to 207 of our tenants and direct financial assistance to 26 of those tenants.
When NHERAP ended in October 2022, our tenants were left with few places to turn for financial assistance, so demand on our small eviction prevention fund increased dramatically. In the past five months, we’ve provided $21,000 in financial assistance; whereas during the entire year of 2021, we only provided $14,012 in assistance.
Please consider donating to our eviction prevention fund today. Between ongoing pandemic instability and inflation, the situation is dire for many of our tenants. Your donation will have a big impact on a local family. Thank you.