Due to Covid, New Yorkers who fell back on their rent can start applying for Tuesday’s emergency rental assistant program. $2.7 billion for the program statewide has been allocated by the official. Households with income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI)—$95,450 for a family of four in the city can get up to 12 months of rental and utility arrears payments.
There’s a formula for distributing the payments. During the 1st 30 days of the program, lower-income households earning 50% of AMI with at least one member unemployed, a domestic violence victim, or a veteran will be prioritized, after which, on a first-come, first-served basis, the money will be distributed.
According to Nohemi Rojas, 36, she and her husband lost their job in March 2020 and could not pay the rent for six months and accumulated nearly $14,000 in missed payments. She feared that she would be asked to leave where she is living as she didn’t pay the rent for long. Last fall, she and her husband both started working but said she is happy that she can apply for the emergency rental assistance program to clear her rent and has gathered most of the documents needed. This program will help her family, she said.
As per estimation by officials, the program will serve between 170,000 and 200,000 households across the state. Undocumented immigrants can apply. The criteria state individuals do not need to have lawful immigration status to qualify. Landlords will be directly paid the amount. “The caveat is that if the landlord chooses to accept the back rent for 12 months, then he cannot evict the tenant for an additional 12 months,” said Mike Soyfer of NY Landlords, a statewide group.
Joanna Wong, a Small Property Owners of New York, said a couple of her residential tenants owe thousands of dollars in rent. Still, few others have rent pending before the pandemic started, and she thinks she will not be able to recover the rent pending before the pandemic.
When a commercial tenant applies for relief ($800 million programs for small businesses) starting June 10th, the tenant can seek up to $50,000. Then they can use the money for property taxes, insurance, machinery, heating, and rent. It doesn’t have the exact requirements of the residential program.