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Accessing Emergency Rental Assistance Gets Easier For New Yorkers

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New York's Emergency Rent Assistance application process have been streamlined to get money out faster to those in need.

New York is making it easier for tenants and landlords to get some of the billions of dollars in federal rent relief that came to the state. And it’s happening just in time, as the money could get reclaimed by Washington if it doesn’t get in the hands of those who need it. Senator Chuck Schumer says the clock is ticking n the aid program that was part of the federal pandemic rescue package

“New York State has not gotten that money out to the tenants, and by September 30th, it could risk being clawed back by the federal government. We must stop that,” said Schumer.

That’s not he only clock that’s ticking. The eviction moratorium that protected many tenants from being put out of their homes and apartments is set to expire August 31st. Rent relief forms have to be filled out jointly by landlords and tenants.

Priority is being given to those who have been out of work for 90 days or more. But backlogs of more than 100,000 applications in New York ground the aid to a halt. Schumer cites the state’s woeful record on providing the relief.

“New York State has not gotten the money out. As of last week, we’re the only state of the 50 that had not sent any money to the tenants,” said Schumer. “Now they’ve sent a little trickle, but that is not enough.”

The state announced a streamlined application process for rent relief. It eases the documentation process for both tenants and landlords, who had to prove the financial impacts they suffered.

The relief program is intended to stave off a flood of evictions, because when the moratorium ends, tenants still owe the months and months of rent they might not have paid during the pandemic. New York received about $2.3 billion for rent relief this year from the federal rescue packages.