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State funding to assist landlords whose tenants declined to participate in New York's Emergency Rental Assistance Program or have vacated with arrears
√ Landlords can now apply for funding using state's rental assistance portal
√ $804 million in assistance; more than 63,000 approved payments to landlords
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced $125 million in state funding is available to help landlords who couldn't participate in the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program due to a federal requirement for tenants to participate in the application process.
Administered by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Landlord Rental Assistance Program provides up to 12 months of past-due rent to landlords who are ineligible for the federally funded program because their tenants either declined to complete an application or vacated the residence with arrears. Priority will be given to those landlords owning small-to-medium-sized properties.
"Getting pandemic relief money out the door to New Yorkers has been a top priority for my administration since day one," Hochul said. "I am proud that our state's rental assistance program has already provided much-needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help. This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic."
New York State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, chair of the New York State Senate housing committee, and sponsor of the bill that authorized the new funding, said, "From the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to ensuring that New Yorkers are protected from losing their homes and from the long-term burden of owing rent arrears because of the hardships wrought by COVID-19. The eviction and foreclosure moratorium and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program are already offering enormous relief and we're continuously pushing to improve the effectiveness of these initiatives.
“The new state funding to pay rent arrears that are ineligible to be paid under our federally funded ERAP program demonstrates our commitment to a truly comprehensive approach. It's especially important that property owners whose tenants may have left their apartments after months of not being able to pay their rent will now be eligible for payments, ensuring that unpaid rent debts from this period will not continue to burden either the landlord or the tenant.”
Eligible landlords must own units leased for at or below 150% of fair market rent for their location and must have documented the rental arrears accumulated after March 1, 2020, that are owed by a tenant who either vacated the unit or is declining to participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Priority is given to those landlords owning a building with 20 or fewer units and who apply within the first 45 days of the program's opening date on Thursday, Oct. 7.
Landlords who have applied to the state's rental assistance program can complete an application for state funding through their existing account in the online portal or create a new account if they haven't done so already. The assistance is first-come, first-served, and specifically designated for arrears accumulated after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. More information can be found at otda.ny.gov/lrap.
"This additional state funding will provide welcome assistance to those landlords who were shut out from federal rent relief through no fault of their own," OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara Guinn said.
Last month, Hochul signed into law a moratorium on residential evictions through Jan. 15, 2022. The law set aside $125 million to help landlords with tenants who decline to participate or have vacated the residence with arrears.
In addition, Hochul last month sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department requesting additional funding for New York's Emergency Rental Assistance Program due to its shrinking balance and a continuing need for assistance throughout the state.
So far, the program has approved more than 63,000 direct payments to landlords, totaling $804 million in assistance. New York has now obligated or paid $1.8 billion in rental assistance, ranking the state first nationally in obligated funding and among the leaders in direct payments, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which tracks the state-by-state implementation of ERAP.
New York's ERAP provides approved tenants with eviction protection even if a landlord does not provide the information necessary to issue a payment or declines the awarded arrears.