To the editor:

The NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance.

Applications for the program will be accepted starting June 1 for eligible New Yorkers who are behind on their rent and have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19. Administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the ERAP will provide assistance to those approved, eligible households for up to 12 months of past-due rent. Those eligible could also receive up to three months of additional rental assistance, if the household spends 30 percent or more of its gross monthly income on rent. The program also will provide up to 12 months of utility arrears for eligible applicants regardless of immigration status.

During the first 30 days, the program will prioritize the unemployed, those with income at or below 50% of area median income and other vulnerable populations. After 30 days, applications will be processed on first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available. For more information, applicants and landlords should visit otda.ny.gov/erap.

In addition to fiscal relief, ERAP will provide significant tenant protections. In order to receive assistance, the landlord must agree to waive any late fees due on past-due rent; and not increase the tenant’s monthly rent or evict them for one year, except in limited circumstances. Please call Columbia County Fair Housing Officer, William Fisher for more information 518-828-0342.

Shari Franks

Fair Housing Department

Hudson

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