New Yorkers who have struggled to pay rent during the pandemic may be eligible for financial assistance. Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the COVID Rent Relief Program, a one-time subsidy paid directly to landlords of households who can’t afford rent payments due to financial hardships related to COVID-19. This is not a loan, so recipients are not required to pay anything back to New York State.
The governor’s office has laid out the following eligibility requirements.
—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% of the area-median Income, adjusted for household size. Applicants can find the area-median Income for their county, based on household size 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% 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
—Recipients will be prioritized by economic and social need, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness; public-housing residents and tenants receiving Section 8 vouchers are not eligible
Applicants can apply for up to four months worth of rental assistance, for the months of April through July, when the applications become available on the Homes and Community Renewal site on Thursday, July 16.