You are reading

Applications for Rent Relief Program Open Thursday

(iStock)

July 15, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New Yorkers who are struggling to pay their rent as a result of coronavirus-related layoffs or pay cuts can apply for a rental relief grant starting tomorrow.

The state has launched a “COVID Rent Relief Program” that provides a one-time payment of rental assistance directly to people’s landlord. The application opens Thursday at 9 a.m. and is open for two weeks.

Applicants, who must make no more than 80 percent of the area median income to be eligible, can apply for up to four months of rental assistance.

The grants will cover the difference between the households’ rent burden on March 1 and the increase in rent burden for the months the household is applying for assistance.

For example, tenants who were allocating 35 percent of their monthly income toward rent on March 1–and have since lost their jobs– might now be shelling out 50 percent of their monthly income just to cover rent. The grant program will cover the increase to bring tenants back down to paying 35 percent of their monthly income to rent.

The grant program uses March 1 as the baseline marker, since this was the last month most people were able to pay their rent.

Tenants can choose to apply the grant money to missed payments, beginning with April rent, or to future rent payments if they have already paid April through July. They do not need to pay the money back to the state.

Applicants must meet a number of requirements to be eligible for the rental assistance program.

They must have earned no more than 80 percent of the area median income when adjusted for household size prior to March 1 and at the time of application.

They must also have been paying more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income towards rent prior to March 1 and at the time of application. Gross income includes cash grants, child support, social security and unemployment benefits in addition to wages.

Lastly, applicants must have lost income during the period of April 1 through July 31. This could be due to job loss, a cut in salary or a cut in hours.

People who live with roommates can either apply to the grant program alone for just their portion of monthly rent or as a household for the full monthly rent.

The state expects to send the grant payments to landlords by the end of the summer.

Congresswoman Grace Meng, who represents several neighborhoods in central Queens, has been calling for rent relief for months and called the new grant program “a first step forward to solving a major issue.”

“Nobody in our state should be kicked out of their homes due to the coronavirus,” Meng said in a statement.

“I thank the Governor for establishing this program and look forward to doing more to help additional New Yorkers who have been forced to endure this severe financial burden through no fault of their own.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.