O P I N I O N
Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.
Being an elected official in New Hampshire isn’t just about voting on bills – it should be about directly serving the people we represent. Since COVID arrived in our state, I’ve been working hard to get out life-changing information about the programs that can offer relief. Most people I know in Manchester are struggling just to get by – living paycheck to paycheck, making below a living wage, and anxious about being slapped in the face with another unexpected emergency expense.
One COVID relief program I’ve been shouting to the rooftops of Manchester about is the Emergency Rental Relief Program – which is still available for anyone experiencing difficulty paying rent due to COVID. I work hard to represent everyone in my ward – no matter what language they speak, their citizenship status, or any other part of their background. I’ve been sharing English and Spanish versions of the rental relief brochures with my neighbors who lack reliable internet access, and making sure everyone is aware that, thankfully, proof of U.S. citizenship is not required to access rental relief through this program. This assistance is available for landlords with tenants in need as well.
I’ve seen firsthand how the Emergency Rental Relief Program can make a huge difference to my neighbors who live with the constant fear that they’re just a few steps away from homelessness. Anyone who witnessed, as I did, or read about the brutal eviction of our homeless neighbors from the Hillsborough courthouse camp in November knows that to be homeless in our city is to live a nightmare. I’ll do anything in my power to prevent anyone from falling into the vicious cycle that is housing insecurity, and to offer resources to those already experiencing homelessness.
When COVID hit, I hit the streets to hang door hangers on every door in my ward, letting people know about COVID relief resources. The people I’ve spoken with have been able to stay in school, support their children, and keep their jobs because housing is one less thing they have to worry about. I take my duty as a representative of the people seriously. Please reach out to me if you or someone you know is in need of help paying their rent, and learn more about the program and how to apply at https://www.nhhfa.org/emergency-rental-assistance/. If you’d like to pound the pavement with me handing out brochures or any other resources, let me know! Recovery from COVID will be a long road, so it’s vital that residents take advantage of all available relief as soon as possible, while it’s available. And when you vote, especially locally- look into each candidate’s background of serving their community directly.
Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Thoughtful prose on topics of general interest are welcome here. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line, The Soapbox.
State Rep Nicole Klein Knight represents District 11, Manchester’s Ward 4.