ALBANY, NY — June 19, 2020 — Effective June 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo has signed into law the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020 (“ERRA”) to provide rental assistance to eligible households directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are facing financial hardship. To view the full text of the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020, please visit https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2019/A10522.
The ERRA will be funded by up to $100 million of the monies allocated to New York State by the CARES Act of 2020 and will be administered and regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Renewal (“DHCR”). Assistance will be available for rent payments due between April, May, June and July of 2020 and the amount will be equal to the difference between the household rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the rent burden at the time of the application and will be paid in the form of a voucher directly to landlords.
Eligible households are those who were paying more than 30% of their monthly income in rent, lost income between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who earn less than 80% of the “area median income” both before March 7, 2020 and at the time of the application.
Similar to other housing programs, income is characterized by all sources of income of each member of a household, including, but not limited to, all wages, salary, overtime, unemployment assistance, social security payments, welfare assistance, and any other payment or cash grants whose purpose is to assist with rental payments- such as Section 8 and DSS vouchers.
Please note that although the ERRA is clear that applications are to be made by tenants and not landlords, it is silent as to what the application process entails. The mechanism of how to process an application, where to file an application and other requirements such as how “area median income” is to be measured has yet to be determined and shall be determined by forthcoming regulations issued by the DHCR.
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SOURCE: New York State | Executive Chamber | Press Office
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