Press release from Governor.ny.gov.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new, streamlined application process for the New York Rent Reduction Program to remove potential barriers for eligible New Yorkers in obtaining funds. With the new procedure, the documentation standards for both tenants and landlords will be relaxed immediately and a streamlined procedure for submitting payment arrears documents for landlords with multiple tenants will be introduced with effect from July 27th. With these new procedures, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will be able to create a number of viable applications by August 7th from the 150,000+ applications submitted.
In addition, the contract vendor who is working with the state on the rent reduction program now has over 1,000 employees who are committed to this effort and will bring additional bookkeeping experts on board. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will also be bringing on board at least 350 government volunteers from other agencies starting today to resolve the pending 4,828 cases that have been reviewed and confirmed by Aug. 3. By August 31st, OTDA will begin paying for all pending, verified applications.
“The COVID pandemic has taken a huge toll on New Yorkers across the state, and they now need help with rentals.” said Governor Cuomo. “The $ 2.7 billion rental assistance program is already providing some of our most vulnerable residents who were given priority in the first 30 days of the application process, and now we need to focus on raising funds to the remaining applicants. To streamline this process, I directed OTDA to work with their vendor to make payments out as quickly and efficiently as possible. We can provide billions of dollars in rental support to New Yorkers who are struggling to pay their rent through no fault of their own. “
New York State’s Rental Assistance Program provides up to $ 2.7 billion in emergency aid for rentals to New Yorkers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program supports households in arrears with rent who have experienced financial hardship, who are at risk of homelessness or residential instability and who earn 80 percent or less of the median income in the region. Managed by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides eligible New Yorkers assistance with up to 12 months overdue rent, 3 months anticipated rental assistance, and 12 months utility arrears. regardless of immigration status. The program is expected to supply 170,000 to 200,000 households.
In addition to tax relief, ERAP offers considerable tenant protection. In order to receive help, the landlord must waive any interest on arrears in the event of overdue rent; and do not increase the tenant’s monthly rent or cancel for a year, except in certain cases.
The program is funded by federal funding of $ 2.6 billion and government funding of $ 100 million and is structured to allow the state and local governments that have received funds directly from the federal government to helps to work together and coordinate their efforts to use resources, increase efficiency and prevent fraud.
OTDA has made an unprecedented effort to partner with local governments across the state to ensure that community-based organizations offer prospective recipients outreach and direct application assistance in multiple languages. These efforts are mobilizing significant resources to ensure that tenants from across the state know about ERAP and can apply.
In addition, the agency is taking fraud prevention measures to identify unreported income and prevent duplicate rental payments.
Seven municipalities that received funding directly from the federal government for emergency rental housing chose to run their own programs. Residents of the City of Rochester and Monroe Counties, the City of Yonkers, Onondaga Counties, and the cities of Hempstead, Islip, and Oyster Bay must apply to their local programs for emergency rent assistance and are not eligible for assistance from the state-administered Emergency Rent Assistance program. The $ 2.7 billion program includes the $ 168 million that will be made available directly to these locations.