Late state finances stalls New York’s $2.three billion in federal aid for tenants, landlords | Prime Tales
ALBANIA – Releasing New York’s $ 2.3 billion federal aid to renters and small landlords struggling to pay rent or property taxes due to the coronavirus pandemic depends on heads of state making the late budget by the weekend negotiate.
Legislators hadn’t expected to debate or vote on laws related to the 2021-22 budget over the weekend and hadn’t expected to meet the Easter break on Sunday. Officials said many officials left the city on Friday afternoon and did not expect to move forward with the next government spending plan until next week.
State executives have been waiting to release a plan and instructions for New York to distribute $ 2.3 billion in total COVID-19 rental relief to renters and small landlords.
Other states, including Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, have announced the process and procedure for renters and landlords to apply for relief and get funding going.
“We didn’t set up our process at all here in New York,” said Rob Ortt, Senate Minority Leader, R-North Tonawanda, on Wednesday before the Million Dollar Staircase in Albany. “Why on earth should we include this or take this hostage for budget negotiations? If we cared about small business landlords at all, we’d be getting that money out. We will set up this process. … These are taxpayers ‘money – taxpayers’ money that landlords have paid into their federal taxes and that should be returned to them. The governor [Cuomo] can just call [Calif. Gov.] Gavin Newsom and ask what they did. “
New York is required to spend at least 5% of its $ 1.3 billion on CARES Act rent support ($ 65 million) by September 30th. The state will receive an additional $ 1 billion under the US $ 1.9 trillion rescue plan recently passed by Congress.
The remainder of the $ 1.3 billion will be returned to the federal government if the state fails to distribute the $ 65 million in rental support by the end of September.
The Republican heads of state drew attention to the current issue in a joint press conference at the State Capitol this week.
“That should be easy,” said Ortt. “We just need to set up the process so that they, tenants and landlords, can apply for this money so we can get it out the door.
“We’ve heard all about ‘canceling your rental’. [and] “We have to give away the rent,” he added. “We have to give our tenants relief.”
Republicans in December largely opposed and voted against extending the state’s eviction moratorium to May 1.
The State Department of Housing and Community Renewal spent $ 40 million on an initial round of $ 100 million. Around 90,000 applicants received no support.
The state anticipates an estimated $ 2.2 billion gap in rent back and similar expenses.
“The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is working with its state legislature partners to develop a rent relief program that meets both federal and New York housing needs,” said Justin Mason, spokesman for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. “We’re working with state and local officials to lay the foundation for this nearly $ 2.3 billion program. We are developing a program to help households in financial difficulty who are in arrears with rent or at risk of housing insecurity, giving priority to low-income households and the unemployed. “
Mason has postponed all other questions to his testimony.
The department spent approximately $ 40 million of $ 100 million of the state’s $ 5 billion in CARES Act funding last year to help prevent around 15,000 applicants on the first round of their COVID-19 law of evictions and foreclosures from 2020, which the legislature had passed in December block evictions until May 1st.
State Budget Division spokesman Freeman Klopott referred to Mason’s statement and did not answer repeated questions about how much of the $ 2.3 billion relief has been postponed or spent so far, what the requirements for renters or landlords are for Financing will come into question or when decisions will be made.
Klopott has said several times that there are budget negotiations going on several times this week, but not answering other details on the subject or the nature of the discussions.
About 42% of small landlords use personal loans or savings to pay mortgages, property taxes, or bills, said Will Barclay, minority assembly chairman, R-Pulaski.
“Unfortunately, too often here in Albany we do that we put our feet up and haven’t released those funds,” said Barclay, adding concerns about delays in the allocation.
“This is about doing the right thing. What have we been waiting for? Time is really of the essence. “
Officials say the details about renters and small landlords requesting the relief and the state distributing the federal aid will depend on the state budget being passed.
The state’s 2021-22 fiscal year began at midnight on Thursday with one of ten traditional household bills passed by lawmakers. Three of the bills were released on Saturday at the time of going to press.
State auditor Tom DiNapoli said about 39,000 state employees will experience a delay in pay if lawmakers fail to pass a budget by Monday.
“We have worked on the budget day and night and expect the funds to be available for government employees to be paid,” Klopott said in a statement.
The state budget will be closed through a series of hour-long talks with senior lawmakers and staff including Governor Andrew Cuomo, spokesman for the Carl Heastie Congregation, D-Bronx; and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers.
Republican leaders have penalized Democrats for failing to pass a budget on time and proposed increasing taxes on New York millionaires and billionaires, as well as one-party legislative oversight of the state.
Ortt continued his criticism of the congregation’s proposed $ 2.1 billion emergency fund for key workers who are undocumented immigrants who were recently released from prison and lost their jobs during the pandemic.
“As families and businesses in New York struggle for their physical and economic well-being, Democrats are raising taxes and using their federal incentive dollars to set a radical agenda rather than helping veterans, small high-street businesses, teachers and seniors,” Ortt said Saturday. “Elected officials should lead; Instead, they continue to play politics. In doing so, they are hurting New Yorkers who have not received any unemployment benefits since the start of this pandemic and long-awaited economic slowdown. By increasing your taxes and spending your federal incentive dollars to spend up to $ 28,000 each on inmates and illegal immigrants, Albany again has the worst priorities. “
During Wednesday’s joint Republican press conference, Senator Pam Helming, R-Geneva, recalled asking the Senate why $ 60 million was not spent in the first round of rental support distribution.
“At that time, we had more than 100,000 people seeking help, and we got help into the hands of 15,000,” said Helming. “Now we’re talking about a lot more funding. The governor and the majority have had time to devise a plan to use this money more efficiently. “
Applicants will not experience relief until midsummer at the earliest, said Helming.
“… If these landlords go under, we risk losing critical housing stocks that we urgently need,” she said. “Sept. 30 – the deadline is imminent. It’s a lot closer than we think. It would be a crime to have to send that money back to Washington DC. “
Ortt said the federal government may not be ready to fund New York in the future if the state doesn’t use its proposed relief in a timely manner.
“We might as well give it to the people ourselves,” he said. “This is about competence in the state government. That should be easy. We’re talking about a budget of more than $ 200 billion, tax hikes and spending to unprecedented levels, but we can’t talk about just getting money into the hands of the people – small business renters and landlords who do that need relief more than ever. “
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