Editor’s Note: As of Aug. 1, the deadline to apply for this program was extended one week to Thursday, Aug. 6.

The application period for New York’s Covid-19 Rental Relief Program closes this Thursday.

This emergency rental assistance program was established by the New York State Legislature to help households experiencing an increase in their rent burden due to a loss of income during the Covid-19 crisis, and is designed to help keep low-income families throughout the state in their homes.

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. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. The Covid Rent Relief Program is NOT first come, first served.

Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period ending Thursday, July 30.

The state’s Homes & Community Renewal office “will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need,” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness. The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the households is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance.”

Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

·      Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must have been below 80 percent of the area median income, adjusted for household size. You can find your county’s area median income, based on your household size: www.hcr.ny.gov/eligible-income-limits-80-ami-county.

·      Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, the household must have been paying more than 30% of gross monthly income towards rent.  Gross income includes wages as well as any cash grants, child support, social security, unemployment benefits, etc.) 

·      Applicants must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

Additional information can be found on HCR website at hcr.ny.gov/RRP.

HCR has created a dedicated call center to provide residents with help Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Call the COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1.833.499-0318 or email at covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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