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“After reviewing the Court’s order, the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance will reopen the Emergency Rental Assistance Program application portal today at 10 p.m. However, as in other states with large tenant populations, the demand for rental relief in New York state far exceeds the federal funding at our disposal.
“From day one, Gov. Kathy Hochul has worked aggressively to streamline and accelerate the delivery of New York state’s ERAP funds – eliminating bureaucratic red tape to quintuple payments between late August and mid-November. With more than $2 billion now paid or obligated, Gov. Hochul has propelled New York from last to among the top states in rental relief funding paid or obligated.
“After fully exhausting our initial funds for this program, New York state requested nearly $1 billion in reallocation funds from the U.S. Treasury – but received only $27 million, a sliver of what would be needed to cover existing applications, let alone new ones.
“Today, New York will be joining other states in sending a joint letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request additional federal funding and ensure high-need states are prioritized.
“Reopening the application portal without additional funding to support the backlog of existing and future applications runs the risk of giving struggling New Yorkers false hope for critical financial relief that – without federal intervention – simply doesn’t exist.
“Our appeal to the Treasury represents the latest in our continued and vigorous advocacy for tenants and landlords still reeling from the financial impact of the pandemic. In addition to getting $2 billion in ERAP funds out the door, Gov. Hochul has made $100 million in state-funded rent supplements available for localities, committed $125 million to households previously ineligible for ERAP based on income, authorized $125 million to help landlords with tenants who have declined to participate in ERAP or vacated with arrears, signed an increase in rental voucher amounts into law, invested $25 million for free legal services for tenants, and unveiled a sweeping, five-year, $25 billion plan to address housing affordability in her State of the State address.
“We will continue to work with our partners in the federal government and designated community-based organizations to keep ERAP applicants apprised of the situation, so that they are not provided an unrealistic expectation of relief, absent additional federal funding.”