New York extends deadline for rental relief program signup

On Friday, the New York Department of Homes and Community Renewal extended the state’s rental relief program, allowing renters struggling financially due to COVID-19 to apply for assistance through this Thursday.

The program, first introduced July 14, is for New York renters who have lost income during any period between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.

“Since day one we made it clear that no New Yorkers should be thrown on the streets because of hardships caused by this pandemic,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”

According to the government’s website, the rental assistance subsidy will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the period the household is applying for assistance.

The awards will cover an increase in rent burden during April, May, June and July. There is a cap on the total amount residents can receive, and the program will prioritize households with the greatest economic and social need.

To qualify, renters must have paid more than 30% of gross monthly income for rent before March 1, and have less monthly income in any month between April and July than they did before March 1 due to COVID-19.

Currently, the state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on August 20.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said that the program is intended to prioritize households across New York with the greatest economic and social need, accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness. Determinations won’t be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The Legislature designed the COVID Rent Relief Program to help New Yorkers who are the most at-risk and rent-burdened after losing income due to the pandemic,” Visnauskas said in a statement. “By keeping the online portal open for another week, we can make sure everyone who needs to apply for assistance has the opportunity to do so.”

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