Tenants with rent in arrears demonstrate for help,
Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia
Finally the day came that thousands of tenants of New York who owe rents due to the income crisis that caused the COVID-19They, like landlords who have not been paid, were waiting. Starting this Tuesday, June 1, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) of the State of New York, opened its website, so that New Yorkers who are behind in paying their rent, fill out the applications to be able to receive the benefits of aid from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which was approved in the spring, and has more than $ 2.4 billion in relief funds.
This was announced by the OTDA, an agency that on its website has an explanation of how to apply to the aid plan, and the requirements that need to be presented.
The bureau cautioned that the program, which covers up to 12 months of back rent, as well as utilities such as electricity and gas, it is designed for tenants of apartments, private houses and even sublet rooms they can request the payment of their owed rents, in order not to be evicted.
Tenants must submit their application through this OTDA site, and after evaluating each application, the funds owed will be delivered directly to the landlords and property owners. Although the money will not be released to the tenants, the tenant will receive proof that the rents owed to as of March 13 of last year, They were canceled and this will prevent you from being evicted for a period of one year and also from raising your rent for the same time.
“Payments will be made directly to the owner and the utility company on behalf of the tenant. Applicant tenants will be notified of the amounts paid on their behalf. If the landlord is difficult to locate or does not provide the necessary information to complete the application, the funds will be held for up to 180 days to allow sufficient time to locate the landlord and gather the required information, as well as to provide tenant protection and maximize participation from the landlord ”, explained the OTDA.
The program also grant three months of additional rental assistance, if the family applying for assistance shows that they could spend 30% or more of their gross monthly income on rent.
Along with the explanatory guides from the state agency, community leaders and grassroots organizations have been promoting educational workshops on the aid plan, and they are also helping to fill out the applications. The Make the Road NY organization created the site workersny.org as well as tenantsny.org, with useful information.
They will also help small businesses
In addition to the plan to help with the payment of rents, the State also works on a small business grant program affected by the coronavirus crisis, which is funded by $ 800 million
The Applications will begin to be received from June 10 not just for micro-businesses, but also for-profit arts and cultural organizations.
Through this program, some 330,000 small businesses will be able to request up to $ 50,000 for operating expenses, payroll payments, rents, utilities, taxes owed and equipment.
For such purposes, the website, NYSBusinessRecovery.ny.gov, provides detailed information about the program.
At the same time, Legal Aid Society, Enterprise Community Partners, Make the Road New York, RiseBoro Community Partnership, CAMBA and the Robin Hood Foundation, also announced the launch of a new campaign, called “Know your rights”, which seeks to educate immigrant tenants’ rights not to be evicted, and connects them with available aid.
To do this, it was launched the housing helpline (212) -298-3490, where immigrant families seeking legal assistance and referrals to financial resources and programs, including the PAssistance program for New York State Emergency Rental (ERAP), they can call to inquire.
Notably, this helpline will only be for undocumented and mixed-status families, who were excluded from previous reliefs, and will provide tenants with access to legal support and guidance on their late rent payment requests.
Housing leaders believe that the COVID pandemic crisis made more than 1.3 million New Yorkers were delayed in some way in the payment of their rents.
Where to find out more?