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Erie County Department of Social Services announces opening of state emergency rental assistance program

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Tue, Jun 1st 2021 12:00 pm

Renters financially impacted by COVID-19 and meeting income eligibility requirements may apply for rent and utility assistance

The Erie County Department of Social Services has announced the opening of the portal for the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which will provide income-qualified renters who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 with up to 12 months back rent and up to three months future rent. Utility arrears assistance may also be available in some cases.

The ERAP application portal is now open and the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will have a call center dedicated to it, open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at 1-844-NY1-RENT or 1-844-691-7368. Information about the program is available on this state website.

“Erie County wants to raise awareness of the emergency rental assistance program and ensure safe stable housing for Erie County residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner of Social Services Marie A. Cannon said.

During the first 30 days of the program, priority will be given to applications from households at or below 50% of the area median income, as well as households with veterans, people currently unemployed, pending eviction cases, mobile home residents, and people living in communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Low-income applicants are urged to submit applications to the program as soon as possible during the month of June to receive priority evaluation. ERAP payments will be made directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. Tenants will be notified of the payments made on their behalf.

New York has $35 million in federal funding allocated to ERAP for Erie County residents. The Erie County Social Services Department will work with community-based organizations on ERAP promotion, program outreach and application assistance.

For more information on ERAP, visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/website.

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