COVID Rent Relief Program Now Available For New York Tenants: Application Deadline: July 30

New York State has directed $100 million of federal stimulus funds toward rent relief. Tenants can now apply for these funds to offset the loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The COVID Rent Relief Program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord.  Tenants will not need to repay this assistance.   

Applications are being accepted through July 30, 2020. The State Division of Homes and Community Renewal] will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness. 

Tenants may apply online at  https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP 

Applicants must provide the following 

1.    A copy of a lease or other proof of monthly rental amount; and 

2.    Proof of the household’s gross income, both prior to March 1, 2020 and at present (including paystubs, employer letters, and federal/state tax returns).

The COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center-833-499-0381 is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Email enquires may be directed to: covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov.

Income Eligibility Requirements

Income Limits for tenants in New York City:

1 Person   2 Person   3 Person   4 Person   5 Person   6 Person   7 Person     8+ Person 

$63,700     $72,800    $81,900     $90,950    $98,250    $105,550  $112,800    $120,100 

Income Limits for tenants in Nassau and Suffolk Counties: 

1 Person   2 Person   3 Person   4 Person   5 Person    6 Person    7 Person   8+ Person 

$65,050    $74,350     $83,650    $92,900     $100,350   $107,800   $115,200   $122,650 

Income Limits for tenants in Westchester County:

1 Person   2 Person   3 Person   4 Person   5 Person    6 Person    7 Person   8+ Person 

$62,550   $71,500      $80,450    $89,350     $96,500     $103,650   $110,800    $117,950 

● All income must be included when determining your household income. Eligibility for this program is based on gross income, rather than take-home pay. This includes benefits for all members of a household. This also includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PAC). 

Who Is Eligible 

● To be eligible for the COVID Rent Relief Program, applicants must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020. 

● To be eligible for the COVID Rent Relief Program, before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, the household must have been paying more than 30% of its gross monthly income towards rent.   

● Tenants receiving Section 8 or living in public housing are not eligible for this subsidy because their rent burden is already capped at 30% of gross household income. 

● Households with at least one household member with U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status are qualified to receive the subsidy. 

● Renters in apartment buildings or private homes are eligible for the subsidy. 

● Renters do not have to be behind in rent to be eligible for relief. If a household has paid all or some of their rent during the period of April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 they may choose to have their landlord treat the relief as pre-payment of rent for one or more months beginning August 2020. The household may also choose to have the landlord apply the payment to a security deposit if it was used to pay rent.

How The Subsidy Works 

● Subsidy payment will be made directly to the landlord. The State anticipates issuing payment the end of the summer. 

● Eligible households will receive a one-time rental subsidy that covers the DIFFERENCE between their “rent burden” on March 1, 2020 and their “rent burden” for the months they are applying for assistance.  Households may apply for one month or up to four months of assistance during this period.  This one-time subsidy is paid directly to the resident’s landlord. For example, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, your monthly household income was $2,000 and your monthly rent is $700. This means that on March 1, 2020, your rent burden was 35%. Today, due to a reduction in hours, your monthly income has decreased to $1,400 and your rent remains the same. You are now paying 50% of your monthly income toward rent. You would be eligible for a subsidy that covers the 15% (50% – 35%) increase in your rent burden, or $210. This subsidy would get you back to your pre-March 1, 2020 rent burden of 35%. 

● There is a cap on the subsidy amount you can receive. For the purposes of calculating your assistance, your monthly contractual rent may not exceed 125% of the fair market rent per month for each month’s assistance that you request. Fair market rents are calculated by HUD. For example: A resident living in a one-bedroom in Nassau County and pays $2,100 a month in rent. The fair market rent for a one-bedroom in this county is $1,624.  This household is still eligible for the subsidy, however, when their subsidy is calculated it will reflect a rent cap of $2,030, which is 125% of the fair market rent. 

125% of the fair market rent in New York City: 

Studio             1 Bedroom                2 Bedroom                3 Bedroom                4+ Bedroom 

$2,081            $2,143                        $2,439                        $3,090                        $3,304 

125% of the fair market rent in Nassau and Suffolk Counties:: 

Studio             1 Bedroom                2 Bedroom                3 Bedroom                4+ Bedroom 

$1,623            $2,030                        $2,490                        $3,204                        $3,573 

125% of the fair market rent in Westchester County: 

Studio             1 Bedroom                2 Bedroom                3 Bedroom                4+ Bedroom 

$1,749            $2,051                        $2,469                        $3,179                        $3,569 

The law prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on what funds they use to pay their rent. This means that landlords and other housing providers are legally required to accept COVID Rent Relief Program. If a landlord refuses to accept this payment, residents can file a SOI discrimination complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/help/residents.page

IF YOU RECEIVE COURT PAPERS OR A NOTICE OF EVICTION OR HAVE QUESTIONS CALL THE MELS SCREENING UNIT AT (212) 815-1111 OR EMAIL MELSSCREENINGUNIT@DC37.NET.

OUR LAWYERS AND LEGAL ASSISTANTS ARE STANDING BY TO HELP.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: