New York Emergency Rental Assistance Program

July 13, 2021



Yen-Yi Anderson, Managing Partner of Anderson & Associates, founded the law firm in January 2014. Yen-Yi Anderson focuses her practice on excellence in business immigration, commercial law, and civil litigation.

Wei-An Wang is an Associate specializing in real estate at Anderson & Associates and a contributing author for the Anderson & Associates blog.

Attention New Yorkers who have rent arrears due to the COVID-19 Pandemic! On June 1, 2021, New York State began accepting applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), a fund for income-eligible renters who fell behind on rent or utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility

To be eligible, renters must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Household gross income has to be at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).

  2. At least a member in the household must have received unemployment benefits or experienced some sort of reduction in income or another financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic on or after March 13, 2020.

  3. A renter has an overdue rent balance at their residence for payments that were owed on or after March 13, 2020.

Immigration status is not a barrier to eligibility.

What is covered?

Eligible renters may receive:

  • Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

  • Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.

  • Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.


How to apply?

To proof the eligibility, renter applicants will need to provide:

  • Personal identification for all household members.

  • Social Security number of any household members who have been issued one.

  • Proof of rental amount, signed lease, even if expired.

  • Proof of residency and occupancy

  • Proof of Income to document income eligibility

  • Copy of gas or electric utility bill, if applying for help paying for utility arrears at the same rental unit.


Landlords and property owners may also file an application for relief under ERAP on behalf of their tenants after obtaining the tenant’s consent. In this case, landlord applicants will need to provide:

  • Completed W-9 tax form

  • Executed lease with tenant applicant, or if there is no written lease, a canceled check, evidence of funds transfer or other documentation of the last full monthly rent payment.

  • Documentation of rent due from the tenant or attestation on application.

  • Banking information to receive direct deposit payment.

However, by accepting payment for rent under the program, landlords and property owners must agree to the following terms:


  • The payment satisfies the tenant’s full rental obligation for the period covered by the payment;

  • No late fee can be charged on the rental arrears covered by the payment.

  • Not increase the monthly rent for one year from receipt of the payment.

  • No eviction could be brought based upon the expiration of the lease or the nonpayment of rent for one year after receipt of payment.

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