State rent relief program reopens for an extra week

Buildings in New York City.
Buildings in New York City.
Tenants will be able to apply to New York’s rent relief program for an additional week.

State rent relief program reopens for an extra week

New Yorkers will be able to apply for a one-time payment to help with rent through Aug. 6.
August 3, 2020

New York state’s $100 million fund offering rent relief to people financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will now be open to additional applications through Aug. 6, City Limits reports. 

The extension comes after criticism that the program has been difficult to access for some New Yorkers because of language barriers and technological errors some have faced filing applications.

At least 57,000 people have applied to receive the one-time payment in rent assistance, which will help ease the burden households have faced since the start of the pandemic. The state is set to prioritize people with the “greatest economic and social need,” taking into account income, the proportion of income they spend on rent, and other factors. Because the program is federally funded, however, undocumented immigrants are excluded from participating, although any household with a single person with legal status – including a child – is eligible. 

Still, with the state’s unemployment rate hitting 15.7% and renters continuing to lose income, the state program will not be enough to stave off the economic hardships facing tenants. 

New York’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act does provide eviction protections for renters who have faced financial hardships because of COVID-19 and haven’t paid rent accrued since March 7. But tenants who can’t prove financial hardship or are being evicted for reasons other than nonpayment of rent can still face evictions.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.