Executive Councilor Janet Stevens promised residents that she would fight for clean drinking water, protect groundwater, and seek funding for critical infrastructure projects—not only in Seabrook but in each of the 32 towns and cities she represents – and she delivered.
2022 FUNDING INCLUDES:
$62.2 MILLION STATE WIDE FUEL ASSISTANCE
$2.5 MILLION EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
$3.7 MILLION FOR CLEAN WATER
$31.9 MILLION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
The impact of inflation and interest rates (having increased for the fifth time this year) – compounded by skyrocketing electric rates and housing costs—are impacting the 266,000 constituents Executive Councilor Stevens represents. Executive Councilor Stevens is collaborating with the New Hampshire Department of Energy, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority and Southern NH Services – to bring relief and much needed support services to her constituents.
Over the past 16 months, Executive Councilor Stevens supported $62,216,612 million for fuel assistance funding state-wide. Working closely with Southern NH Services, the Community Action Program for Seabrook, and the Department of Energy, while charged with disbursement of fuel assistance funding, she can assist her constituents with accessing these much-needed services. For information on accessing energy services, please visit the following informational page I have put together to help constituents know what energy programs are available: Executive Councilor Janet Stevens District Three – Energy Options
She is also encouraging all constituents to consider applying for a newly announced initiative which will provide a one-time credit of $450 for heating as well as $200 for electric bills. Households with incomes between 60 and recently expanded up to 75% of the state median income could receive $650 in assistance towards their heating and electric bills. See NH Emergency Energy Assistance for details, or contact Southern NH Services/Your Local Community Action Agency to set up an appointment.
Councilor Stevens is a strong advocate of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was launched in March of 2021 in response to unprecedented housing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly supported every acceptance and expenditure for the program, and has worked with both the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority and Southern New Hampshire Services, the Community Action Program for Hampton to expand access to Emergency Rental Assistance and the Homeowner Assistance Program.
To date, 226 Seabrook households have received $2,456,797 so they can remain in their homes through initial ERA funding. The recent Emergency Rental Assistance program (ERA2), will reach more households over a longer period, has also been implemented and will be in effect until 2025.
With inflation at record levels, a shortage of housing units in the State (estimated between 15,000 – 20,000 needed but unavailable homes) in the setting of a 0.5% vacancy rate has resulted in landlords seizing the opportunity to increase rents, putting many District Three residents at risk of losing their homes. There is a clear acceleration of evictions with rent increases (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies). With more than half of our nation’s senior citizens paying more than 50% of their income for housing. Those 65+ on fixed incomes are most vulnerable.
When a local State Representative asked for assistance with a disabled, elderly couple facing eviction due to the landlord making improvements and increasing rent, Councilor Stevens went to work. She pursued legal advice, informed the couple about the Emergency Rental Assistance program, advised on how to apply to the program, and secured case managers to assist the couple with the difficult task of finding a new apartment and securing funding for their transition.
“Executive Councilor Stevens was a big help to us when my disabled husband and I were thrust into an eviction due to the owner making upgrades and doubling the rent. We are on a fixed income and are both in our late 60’s. Councilor Stevens sought legal help for us and worked with Southern NH Services to get emergency rental assistance to keep a roof over our heads and find a new apartment – which we did – thanks to her help. She assisted us in getting funding for our first/last month’s rent – which we could not afford – and would have prevented us from getting a new apartment.”
– Pamela S., Hampton, NH.
Executive Councilor Janet Stevens promised residents that she would fight for clean drinking water, protect groundwater, and seek funding for critical infrastructure projects in the 32 towns and cities she represents – and she delivered. In addition, Councilor Stevens has supported and advocated for additional funding for wetland protection (mapping), protection for our rivers and lakes, private well testing and remediation, coastal waters, and dam infrastructure.
She has worked tirelessly to inform municipal leaders and residents of the State regarding Federal Funding Resources, while advising on appropriate use of grant dollars There are a myriad of programs to sustain and protect the integrity of New Hampshire water sources. For example: The American Rescue Plan Act, the PFAS Remediation Loan Fund, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund are just a few of the programs available.
In American Rescue Plan Act State Fiscal Relief Funds alone, $3,744,200 has been awarded to the Town of Seabrook for improvements. Funds were granted for drinking water system improvements, wastewater infrastructure, and climate resilience.
More than half of New Hampshire residents rely on private, residential wells for home use. Councilor Stevens supported – and has promoted – the availability of $5.5 million to assist residents with wells contaminated with PFAS and owners experiencing irreversible water quantity and quality problems. For residents who have not had their wells tested, there is support through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) who have announced that the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Removal Rebate Program for Private Wells is now accepting applications. The program provides rebates to private well users for up to $5,000 for the installation of PFAS treatment or up to $10,000 for a service connection to a public water system.
The Town of Seabrook has received $4,097,774 for much-needed infrastructure improvements for roads, bridges, and active transport – rail trails.
Additionally, the Neil R. Underwood bridge project – which is ranked as the #1 priority on the state’s Red List Bridge index – is scheduled for construction (2023-2025). This project is fully funded at $68,598,052.
As an Executive Councilor, Ms. Stevens serves on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT), which is responsible for updating New Hampshire’s Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TYP) every two years. She has not only participated in GACIT Public Meetings, she has conducted five hearings throughout the district to assess/collect public comments and feedback on the projects and themes of the draft ten-year-plan for 2023-2032.
Executive Councilor Stevens is proud of her record in supporting all New Hampshire residents throughout and before the pandemic. She has supported 100% of ARPA funds requiring acceptance and expenditure by the Council, including every COVID-19 public health request.
In her first year of service, she approved more than $1 billion in contracts. For example, she has supported:
$112 million in funds to stabilize New Hampshire’s child care system by providing necessary program funding and wage enhancements
$31,956,345 for our state’s long term care providers – while working to raise awareness of the increase of adult elder abuse cases in New Hampshire. Read more on the elder abuse crisis here in the NH Union Leader.
$100 million was approved to reduce New Hampshire’s housing crisis. Councilor Stevens worked with Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority in getting approval for InVest NH, which makes $100 million available to accelerate the approval and construction of affordable workforce housing in New Hampshire. It is a new, one-time flexible resource to benefit small and large projects across the state plus the municipalities in which they will be located that will assist builders with the completion of housing projects which are at risk of failing completion thanks to record inflation.