Nov. 15 deadline to apply; funding will cover up to 5 months of rental or mortgage arrears for eligible applicants
Homeowners and renters adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resultantly in arrears on their mortgage or rent still have time to apply for mortgage or rent assistance through Live Well Erie emergency rental and mortgage assistance. The program will provide a grant of up to $1,500 per month to cover the monthly lease rent/mortgage (based on the rent paid as of March 1, 2020), with a maximum of $3,500 per household. The rent subsidy will be paid directly to the tenant’s landlord on behalf of the tenant. The mortgage subsidy will be paid directly to the mortgage holder. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15.
“Time is of the essence for homeowners and renters unable to pay their mortgage or rent as a result of the pandemic, as the deadline to apply for assistance is Nov. 15. We know that there are households and renters in the community who have not yet applied for relief and the Live Well Erie emergency housing taskforce is working with multiple partners to make people aware while there is still time to apply,” said Commissioner of Social Services Marie Cannon. “We have been working in conjunction with legal advocates, housing advocates, faith leaders, municipalities, foundations, the University of Buffalo, housing service providers, and other partners to help homeowners and renters in arrears due to COVID-19 get assistance.”
This program will be available to renters and homeowners who meet the following eligibility criteria:
√ Must be residents of Erie County;
√ Residents must provide proof of tenancy or mortgage;
√ Household annual income must be at or below 85% of state median income (SMI) level prior to the COVID-19 crisis; and
√ Households must provide documentation of loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19 after March 16, 2020.
Funding provided to households must be utilized for households that are currently behind in rent or mortgage payments and most likely will face eviction when the moratorium on evictions is lifted. Households must be low or moderate income (85% of state median income) prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and must currently reside within Erie County. All services and assistance will be provided on a temporary basis only. A maximum of five months’ rent/mortgage can be offered as financial assistance to approved, qualified households/families. Leveraging of other funding sources is possible as long as the assistance does not exceed the amount in arrears or duplicate funding source.
Household Size/Maximum Annual Income
How to Apply for Assistance
Per Live Well Erie:
√ The best way to apply is online at http://www.211wny.org/ All documents can be uploaded to the website. If you do not have access to the internet, simply call 211 for screening and assessment.
√ You will be assigned to an agency that will conduct the interview and collect all required documentation, if you are not able to submit online.
Before contacting 211 by phone or through its website, have answers to the following questions:
√ Does your household income qualify based on this year’s gross yearly income? (The federal government’s unemployment pay of $600 per week is not considered as part of your income, but the state unemployment payments are considered.) See income guidelines above for income limits per household size.
√ Have any of your household members become unemployed or under-employed as result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
√ Are you at risk of being evicted once the moratorium on eviction is lifted because of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. already missed or about to miss rent/mortgage payments and face eviction)?
All required documentation is needed to approve and finalize the applications. All information can be uploaded onto the 211 website. Call 211 for additional assistance.
Applicants can go to the following community centers if they need assistance with scanning and uploading the documentation:
•Matt Urban Hope Center: 385 Paderewski St., Buffalo; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; call 716-893-7222
•Delavan Grider Community Center: 877 E. Delavan Ave. (corner Moselle Street), Buffalo; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; call 716-896-7021)
•Erie Regional Housing Authority /Belle Center: 145 Maryland St. (clients will stay in the foyer); 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; call 716-845-0485
•West Side Community Services: 161 Vermont St., Buffalo; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; call 716-884-6616
•UDCDA, 995 Kensington Ave., Buffalo; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; call 716-832-1010
•Old First Ward Community Center: 62 Republic St., Buffalo; call ahead to 716-856-8613
•Northwest Buffalo Community Center: 155 Lawn Ave, Buffalo; call ahead for hours at 716-876-8108