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When will Emergency Rental Assistance in New York be disbursed, why has it taken so long, and how do you qualify?

A hearing was held at the request of the State Senate regarding the slow rollout of rent relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program on Thursday, and soon thousands of New Yorker’s should be receiving their assistance.

The program was approved in April with the funding of $2.7 billion dollars from both state and federal government.

The application process started in June.

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Sen. Brian Kavanagh, D-Manhattan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development expressed frustration from renters and landlords.

Both landlords and tenants have been in a crisis situation and the money that was supposed to alleviate the issue has not been disbursed as fast as the situation needs.

With the eviction moratorium up on Aug. 23, lawmakers see the urgency needed to get the money out.

Those who qualify will receive funds to cover up to a year of unpaid rent and utilities since March 13, 2020.

Household whose rent takes up 30% or more of their income are eligible for three more months of rent and the program will help 170,000-200,000 households.

The process ended up being so slow due to the large amount of applications so quickly after the program began. Cuomo streamlined the application process saying the backlog would be eliminated by Aug. 31.

A tenant will receive a letter saying their applications are provisionally approved, protecting them from eviction for up to a year. Tenants also cannot be evicted if they have a pending application.

At least 65% of the rental assistance needs to be distributed by Sept. 30.

In order to qualify, the person or family must be paying rent on their home in New York State. They must make at or below 80% of the median income for their area, qualify for unemployment or have experienced a decrease in income due to COVID, and be at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

There is another $100 million set aside for people that don’t qualify because they have a higher income.



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