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The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance.

Seven communities that received funding for emergency rental assistance directly from the federal government opted to administer their own programs. Residents of City of Rochester and Monroe County, the City of YonkersOnondaga County and the towns of HempsteadIslip and Oyster Bay must apply with their local programs for emergency rental assistance and are ineligible for assistance from the state-administered Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Eligibility

New York residents are eligible for ERAP if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size. A household may qualify based on current income or calendar year 2020 income that is at or below 80 percent AMI.
  • On or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has rental arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.
  • The household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.

There are no immigration status requirements to qualify for the program.

Households eligible for rental arrears may also be eligible for help paying utility arrears at the same rental unit.

Priority Applications

For the first 30 days of the program, priority will be given to households in the following order:

  1. Households with income at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) that also include a household member who:
    • Is currently unemployed for at least 90 days; or
    • Is a veteran; or
    • Is currently experiencing domestic violence or is a survivor of human trafficking; or
    • Has an eviction case related to their current residence pending in court; or
    • Resides in a mobile home; or
    • Lives in a community that was disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (Check your ZIP Code); or
    • Lives in a dwelling of 20 or fewer units.
  2. Households with income at or below 50 percent AMI.
  3. Households with income at or below 80 percent AMI that also include a household member who:
    • Is currently unemployed for at least 90 days; or
    • Is a veteran; or
    • Is currently experiencing domestic violence or is a survivor of human trafficking; or
    • Has an eviction case related to their current residence pending in court; or
    • Resides in a mobile home; or
    • Lives in a community that was disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (Check your ZIP Code); or
    • Lives in a dwelling of 20 or fewer units.
  4. Households with income at or below 80 percent AMI.

After the first 30 days, applications for all eligible households will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.

Benefits

Households approved for ERAP may receive:

  • Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.
  • Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

Payments will be made directly to the landlord/property owner and utility company on behalf of the tenant. Tenant applicants will be notified of the amounts paid on their behalf. If a landlord is difficult to locate or does not otherwise provide information needed to complete the application, funds will be held for up to 180 days to allow sufficient time to locate the landlord and collect required information as well as to provide tenant protections and maximize landlord participation.

Original note: Emergency Rental Assistance Program | OTDA (ny.gov)

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