(WIVB) — Governor Hochul is shifting the state’s emergency rent relief program into high gear. Thousands of New Yorkers could be affected and social service agencies are kicking it up a notch, too.
New York has set up $2.7 billion, in state and federal funding, for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program, known as ERAP, but only a fraction of that money has been distributed.
Governor Hochul is adding people to process applications and insists the state will do better.
“I want the money out now, I want it out with no more excuses and delays,” said Governor Hochul.
Chemung County leaders agree and say it is a shame the state has sat on millions of dollars for this long. County Executive Chris Moss added he hopes the Hochul administration will act quickly to provide much-needed aid to tenants and landlords.
“Quite a few landlords and haven’t received any payments from their tenants… It looks like what the state did was create an agreement with a third party to facilitate the process and the money’s just been sitting there. For the state to be sitting on this amount of money, it’s bad for tenants and especially bad for landlords,” Moss told 18 News.
Within hours of taking over the reins of state government, Governor Kathy Hochul made it crystal clear she is not at all satisfied with the pace emergency rental assistance is getting out. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers could lose their homes due to COVID-19 complications, but the rental assistance program can stop that.
“New Yorkers should know, if you apply and qualify for this money, you will be protected from eviction for a solid year. Let me repeat, if you apply and qualify, you will not be evicted for a year,” Governor Hochul added.
“It is important for housing providers who have not been able to collect rent now for many months, and it is important for tenants who are experiencing a significant loss of housing stability,” said Grace Andriette of Neighborhood Legal Services.
Once the ERAP application is filed, an eviction proceeding is frozen, but tenants and landlords have to work together to receive emergency assistance for up to a year.
New York’s moratorium on evictions runs out Tuesday, August 31. A federal moratorium is in place until October 3, but it is on shaky ground in the courts.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an extension. I know while they’re working on the portals and more people can get in there and get their applications filed,” Moss continued.
For help applying for ERAP, call the 211 information line.