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New York State recently announced a rental assistance program to support households which are behind on their rent, which have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income.
Applications will be accepted starting June 1, 2021, at 9 am.
New York residents are eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) if they meet all of the following criteria:
· Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size. A household may qualify based on current income or calendar year 2020 income that is at or below 80 percent AMI.
· On or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
· The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has rental arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.
· The household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.
For the first 30 days of the program, the unemployed, those with income at or below 50 percent of area median income and other vulnerable populations will be prioritized for assistance. After this period, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.
For more information applicants (renters) and landlords should visit: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/
Once approved, eligible households will receive up to 12 months of past due rent. Those eligible could also receive up to 3 months of additional rental assistance, if the household spends 30 percent or more of its gross monthly income on rent. The program also will provide up to 12 months of utility arrears for eligible applicants.
In addition to fiscal relief, ERAP will provide significant tenant protections. In order to receive assistance, the landlord must agree to waive any late fees due on past-due rent; and not increase the tenant's monthly rent or evict them for one year, except in limited circumstances.