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Onondaga County Works To Get Rental Assistance To Those In Need, But Delays Persist

onondaga county courthouse
Kenneth C. Zirkel
Wikimedia Commons

Onondaga County has been handling the processing of assistance for renters who were unable to pay their rent as a result of the pandemic. Legislature Chair Dave Knapp says it’s been a good program, helping get rent relief to people. However, he acknowledges there are delays getting applications processed.

“The folks at the county social services department are working really, really hard to connect renters and landlords, get them communicating,” said Knapp. “And working out how to get those payments to the landlords to give them some stability and assurance they’re going to be okay.”

During the difficult process of facing eviction or applying for rental assistance, people often turn to Legal Services of CNY for help. Managing Attorney Susan Griffith says the county’s program is good, but she knows of clients who are waiting for the assistance.

“We have a lot of applications in there, and an awful lot of applications that are still out there. I know the county is working very hard to process them, but it is taking longer than we think. It is a complicated program in that it requires both tenant cooperation and landlord cooperation,” said Griffith.

Griffith suggests people remain patient as the rent relief applications get processed. She anticipates many landlords will be made whole again and collect back rent. At the same time, she says recent court cases and the scheduled end of the eviction moratorium could add to the number of rent-relief applications. To apply for rent relief, go to the county’s website. To reach the Legal Aid Society, visit their website.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.