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NY’s New Rent Relief Program Offers Direct Aid That Tenants Won’t Have To Pay Back

By Claire Leaden

NY’s New Rent Relief Program Offers Direct Aid That Tenants Won’t Have To Pay Back

Some New Yorkers will be able to get financial help from NYS if they haven’t been able to pay rent due to COVID-19.

Governor Cuomo recently announced the “COVID Rent Relief Program,” which works to help low-income families remain in their homes with direct monetary aid from the state.

The program involves a one-time rental subsidy paid directly to landlords, which tenants will never have to pay back. It would cover the difference between “the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden during the period the household is applying for assistance.” You can apply for up to four months (April-July). A “rent burden” means paying more than 30 percent of gross monthly income towards rent.

Acceptance will be based on those with the greatest economic and social need.

“Since day one we made it clear that no New Yorkers should be thrown on the streets because of hardships caused by this pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s critically important that people are able to stay safely in their homes as we progress through our data-driven, phased reopening, and the COVID Rent Relief Program reinforces that commitment with direct assistance to those in the greatest need.”

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Here is the exact eligibility New Yorkers must meet to be part of of the program, as written on the Governor’s website:

  • Must be a renter with a primary residence in New York State.
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income (including unemployment benefits) must be below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size. Applicants can find the Area Median Income for their county, based on household size, on HCR’s website here.
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, the household must have been “rent burdened,” which is defined as paying more than 30 percent of gross monthly income towards rent.
  • Applicants must have lost income during any period between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
  • The application period will be open for two weeks. Residents can apply any time during the two-week period.

The applications became available starting today, July 16, on the state website here.

In other news: NYC Reports First Day Of Zero COVID-19 Deaths Since March

featured image source: Shutterstock