Important COVID-19 Information for Residents
COVID-19 Rental assistance available for MFA monitored properties
Affordable properties and subsidized rental properties are owned and managed by a variety of entities that include housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies and private owners. If you live in an apartment community listed on either of the pages linked above, you may be eligible for rental assistance under the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program administered by MFA. Steps to apply:
- Confirm that your apartment community is listed on either of the links above.
- Review the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Rental Assistance Resident Fact Sheet to determine your eligibility.
- Call or visit the property management office to request their participation in the application process.
- Provide all the requested documentation to the management office.
COVID-19 Eviction protections
The Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico issued two orders, one on March 24, 2020 (No. 20-8500-007) and one on March 26, 2020 (No. 20-8500-008), which address eviction for non-payment of rent cases. These orders require judges to stay (put a hold on) evictions in cases where the tenant has shown the court that they are unable to pay rent. Therefore, anyone currently renting a house or apartment in New Mexico may not be evicted for failure to pay rent.
If you live in a subsidized rental property, your rent is still due. However, if you are having trouble making your rent payment, the CARES Act prevents your landlord from starting eviction proceedings. Go here for more information.
If you live in an apartment community that receives funding from HUD, your manager is being strongly encouraged by HUD to negotiate a rent repayment plan with you in order to keep you housed. Here is a guide to help you create a rent repayment plan to submit to your manager: Tenant Guidance: Rent Repayment Plans. The document includes links to helpful resources and a sample script for requesting a repayment agreement from a landlord. Use of this guidance is optional. For more information about HUD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus.
On September 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency public health order to temporarily halt non-payment evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order will be effective through December 31. To take advantage of the order, an eligible tenant must execute a declaration form attached to the order confirming eligibility and requirements are met. The emergency order applies only to those unable to make full rent payment and does not prohibit evictions resulting from issues other than nonpayment of rent. The eviction moratorium does not require landlords to forgive housing payments or preclude the charging or collection of fees, penalties, or interest for failure to make rent and housing payments.
If you are having a dispute with your landlord, New Mexico Legal Aid may be able to help. Go to the New Mexico Legal Aid website or call 1-833-LGL-HELP (1-833-545-4357) Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional Rent & Utility Assistance
Several nonprofit organizations receive funds from MFA to administer rental and utility assistance programs. To see if you qualify for assistance with your rent or utility payments, click on the "Rent & Utility Assistance" link in the menu bar to the left for a list of organizations that may be able to help. Please contact these organizations directly.
Finding an Affordable Apartment
MFA oversees two types of rental properties: affordable and subsidized. On the menu bar to the left, you will find lists of all of the affordable and subsidized apartment communities MFA oversees throughout the state. When you click the link, you'll see the qualification requirements for both types of properties. However, be sure to contact the management of the property you're interested in to find out what additional qualification criteria applies to that specific property.
As a renter, you should be aware of your rights under the Fair Housing Act and New Mexico Human Rights Act. Under these protections, everyone has the right to have access to all housing opportunities without discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, color, familial status, disability, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and spousal affiliation. For more information, go to the Fair Housing menu item on the menu bar to the left. If you believe you've been discriminated against in your pursuit of housing or in how you are treated as a renter, this link provides access to valuable resources.
PLEASE NOTE: MFA does not own or manage any affordable rental properties in New Mexico. MFA cannot be involved in the following legal issues: disputes involving third parties; lawsuits involving residents and the owners or management agents; eviction matters; and interpretation of local laws and ordinances. For legal advice concerning these matters, please contact New Mexico Legal Aid at 505.243.7871.