ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The state’s coronavirus rent relief program provides eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy sent directly to the household’s landlord, and applications are due Thursday.
With pandemic unemployment assistance payments set to expire and evictions looming, the rent relief program represents a legitimate lifeline for many New Yorkers. Applicants will not have to repay the assistance, and the COVID Rent Relief Program is not first-come, first-served.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the emergency rental assistance program on July 14, saying it will help keep low-income families in their homes. “Since day one we made it clear that no New Yorkers should be thrown on the streets because of hardships caused by this pandemic,” Cuomo said.
The program is funded through the CARES Act and is designed to reach those with the greatest need, having lost income due to the pandemic. There are two ways to apply:
Households can apply for up to four months of assistance for April through July, which will cover any difference in rent from March 1. When choosing applicants, the program will consider income, rent burden, percent of income lost, and risk of homelessness.
The Department of Homes and Community Renewal has a dedicated call center at (833) 499-0318 that can answer last-minute questions until 7 p.m. Contact via email is also an option. Applications are available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean, and Bengali translations, though the HCR also says to contact the call center for translation services.