New York City's COVID-19 Rent Relief Program is closing on Thursday, after being open to applications for the past two weeks.
The fund gives eligible households a one-time rental subsidy directly to the landlord, which does not need to be repaid by the applicant.
The $100 million COVID-19 Rental Relief Fund is designed to reach those in the greatest need who have lost income due to the pandemic and help keep low-income families in their homes, Cuomo said when the fund was announced two weeks ago.
"It's critically important that people are able to stay safely in their homes as we progress through our data-driven, phased reopening and the COVID Rent Relief Program reinforces that commitment with direct assistance to those in the greatest need," he said.
The program, funded through the CARES Act and administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), won't outright cover rent payments. Instead it will offer a percentage of the monthly rental payment for tenants already facing a rent burden (those who spend more than 30% of their income on rent).
It will cover the difference between a tenant's rent burden at the start of the pandemic and how rent burdened they are now (if they spent 40 percent of their income on rent before the pandemic and now spend 70 percent, the fund would cover the 30 percent difference.)
The program covers rental payments for the four months between April and July. HCR said it would prioritize families with the greatest economic and social need, based on income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.
Households with at least one U.S. citizen or member with eligible immigration status are qualified to receive the subsidy. However, tenants currently receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher for housing costs or who reside in public housing are not eligible.
To apply, you will need a copy of a lease or other proof of monthly rental amount, proof of the household's gross income prior to March 1, 2020 and at present. This includes, but is not limited to paystubs, employer letters, and federal/state tax returns.
Applications close Thursday, July 31. You can apply to the fund here.