New York State Homes and Community Renewal today announced the deadline to file applications for the COVID Rent Relief Program has been extended by one week through Thursday, August 06, 2020. Applications are available on HCR’s website here.
COVID Rent Relief Program applications can also be filled out and submitted online in Spanish. Translated applications are available to download and submit via mail in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean, and Bengali. Mailed applications must be postmarked by August 06, 2020.
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Legislature designed the COVID Rent Relief Program to help New Yorkers who are the most at-risk and rent burdened after losing income due to the pandemic. By keeping the online portal open for another week, we can make sure everyone who needs to apply for assistance has the opportunity to do so. This program is intended to prioritize households across the State with the greatest economic and social need, accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness. HCR will not make any determinations on a first come, first served basis.”
In addition to the program application, HCR’s website – here – also contains contact information for the Rent Relief Program Call Center, a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and additional resources for residents. The website also provides the application, FAQs and other documents in six different languages to ensure New Yorkers with limited English proficiency have proper access to the application and program tools.
HCR has created a dedicated call center to provide residents, including those with limited English proficiency, with help Monday through Saturday, 08:00 a.m. until 07:00 p.m. Call the COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a list of community-based organizations in each region of the State who are available to assist non-English-speaking residents with their application. The New York State Office for New Americans can also offer assistance.
Residents may also authorize a caseworker, attorney or other personal representative to apply for the COVID Rent Relief Program on their behalf. The Authorized Representative Release Form is available and can be downloaded from the Rent Relief Program website here.
What is the COVID Rent Relief Program?
The New York State Legislature established this program to help households experiencing an increase in their “rent burden” due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. Rent burden is the amount of monthly contractual rent that exceeds 30% of gross household income.
The rental assistance subsidy will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 01, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the period the household is applying for assistance.
The awards are limited to cover an increase in rent burden during April, May, June and July, and there is a cap on the total subsidy amount residents can receive.
HCR will prioritize households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.
Who is eligible for the COVID Rent Relief Program?
To qualify for COVID Rent Relief Assistance, an applicant must meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:
1. Be a renter with a primary residence in New York State.
2. Before March 01, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must be below 80% Area Median Income (To view AMI by county and household size, please visit here.
a. Families with extremely low income will prioritized.
b. Income includes unemployment insurance payments/PUA.
3. Before March 01, 2020 and at the time of application, household must pay more than 30% of gross monthly income for rent.
4. Applicants have less monthly income in any month between April 2020 and July 2020 than they did prior to March 01, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more detailed information on the Rent Relief Program and additional eligibility criteria, please visit HCR’s website here.