NYS Homes and Community Renewal Announces Expansion of Covid Rent Relief Program
What it is
City of New York Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. Households can apply for up to four months of rental assistance. The program will not cover the entire rent but will provide funding to cover a portion of the rent for low-income New Yorkers who have experienced income loss.
To qualify for this one-time subsidy, renters impacted by the pandemic must meet all the following criteria:
- Must be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State;
- Must have lost income during the period from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
- Before March 7, 2020, household income must have been at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; (Applicants can find their county’s area median income, based on household size on the HCR website) and
- Households must have been “rent burdened” (a tenant’s total contractual rent must be greater than 30% of their household’s before-tax income) during the months for which they are applying for assistance between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
Eligibility requirements for the COVID Rent Relief Program have changed. Households no longer need to have been considered “rent burdened” prior to the pandemic in order to qualify. “Rent burden” is defined as paying more than 30% of monthly gross (pre-tax) income toward rent.
You are not eligible for the program if you:
- Live in public housing (NYCHA)
- Receive a Section 8 voucher
If you live in public housing or receive a Section 8 voucher and your total household income has decreased, you should contact NYCHA or your voucher administrator to request an Interim Recertification.
Eligible households can receive a one-time rent subsidy that covers the difference between their “rent burden” on March 1, 2020 and their “rent burden” for the months they are applying for assistance. For applicants who were not considered rent burdened on March 1, 2020, the subsidy will be calculated to bring them to the 30 percent rent burden threshold. Households may apply for 1-4 months of assistance during the period from April to July. This one-time subsidy is paid directly to the resident’s landlord.
Rent burden is the amount of monthly contractual rent that exceeds 30% of gross household income (total pay before taxes).
Example: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a household’s total monthly income was $3,000 and their monthly rent was $700. The household was paying 23% of their monthly income toward rent. This household was not rent-burdened prior to COVID. However, due to COVID, their work hours were reduced and their monthly income decreased to $1,400 during the coverage period while their rent remained the same at $700. This household was paying 50% ($700/$1,400) of their monthly income toward rent during the coverage period.
This household would be eligible for a subsidy that covers the increase in their rent burden in excess of 30%. Under this program, the maximum rent burden threshold based on their reduced income during the coverage period would be calculated as $1,400(income) x 30% = $420 (maximum rent payment). $700 (total rent) – $420 (maximum rent payment) = $280 (subsidy from this program). The $280 in subsidy from the program would reduce this household’s rent burden to 30% for each month they apply for assistance for up to four months.
How to Apply
Applications for COVID Rent Relief Program Available Online at https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP. The deadline to submit your COVID Rent Relief Program application is February 1, 2021.
Previous Applicants Do Not Have to Reapply to Receive Consideration.
For Help Applying
Residents who need help or have questions about their application can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center for assistance at 833-499-0318 or email@example.com. Call Center representatives are available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
You can also call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline” to be connected with tenant support specialists who can help you navigate the application process.
For More Information
We expect this program to be codified in an Executive Order from the Governor, thus the information is subject to change. Please visit https://hcr.ny.gov/rrp for more information.
Apply for ERAP here