Back in May 2021, New York State announced a new rental assistance program that was designed to provide additional help for renters in New York who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 using billions of dollars in stimulus funds New York received from the federal government.

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Starting June 1, 2021, New Yorkers who are behind on their rent because of Coronavirus are able to apply online for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program is operated by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance rental assistance. If an applicant is approved for rental assistance, New York State would be able to cover up to twelve (12) months of past due rent, up to three (3) months of future rent, and up to three (3) months of past due utility payments.

This assistance sounds like it could be a major lifeline for many people who are struggling because of the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In fact, New York State has made a few different programs to help people, not just financially, but emotionally and mentally.

As amazing as this program sounds, it appears that New York is having trouble disbursing the money to those who need it the most. According to the most recent report issued by NYS OTDA, there had been just over 100,000 applications submitted for rental assistance across New York State. That low number is concerning advocates because it's estimated that more than 800,000 New Yorkers are behind on their rent and are in danger of eviction. This is of special concern since the New York State eviction moratorium is due to end on August 31, 2021.

If you or someone you know is behind on your rent, it's important for you to apply for this assistance before the program ends. This program has qualification requirements, you can find a list of those requirements here and here.

If you need help gathering your paperwork and submitting your application, there are quite a few non-profit agencies in Western New York that are available to help. You can find a list of those organizations here.

Don't wait to ask for help until it's too late.

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