New York State Seeks $1.6 Billion in Additional Federal Funding for Emergency Rent Assistance

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Thu January 27, 2022 6:55 PM

The request to the US Treasury Department in the next reallocation round would cover 174,000 unfunded claims from tenants deemed eligible for assistance

√ Over $2 billion in rental assistance already committed or paid, covering approximately 166,000 program applications, including 109,000 direct payments to landlords

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that New York State has requested an additional $1.6 billion from the U.S. Treasury Department to help address the significant unmet needs of struggling tenants and homeowners who have requested assistance from emergency rental. Under Hochul’s direction, the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance — the agency that administers the program — made the official request ahead of the next round of federal reallocation of rent relief. If granted, the funding would cover approximately 174,000 tenant applications that are not yet funded.

“We’ve provided nearly $1.4 billion to tenants battling the pandemic, but we need to do more. New York State continues to demonstrate a great need for this federal funding,” Hochul said. “Our call on the Treasury to reconsider its reallocation formula to prioritize high-tenant states like New York represents the latest in our ongoing and vigorous advocacy for those still reeling from the shock of the crisis. “financial impact of the pandemic. We need to ensure that all eligible tenants and landlords are able to tap into this essential assistance.”

Hochul’s team said that under his leadership, “New York State has streamlined and accelerated the distribution of rent relief funds. As a result, more than 166,000 households were protected from evictions and nearly $1.4 billion was distributed to landlords through 109,000 direct payments.

“After completely depleting the initial funds for this program, the state requested $996 million in reallocation funds from the Treasury Department, approximately enough to cover approximately 70,000 unfunded requests. Still, the Treasury Department does not provided New York with an additional $27 million – enough to fund less than 2,000 claims.

Earlier this month, New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois sent a joint letter to United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to seek additional federal funding and ensure that high-need states with large tenant populations are prioritized. Since November, these four states have spent a combined $5.4 billion in aid — nearly 12% of the total $45.5 billion in federal rent relief distributed among all states — helping stabilize more than 625 000 households.

OTDA Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “Unquestionably, there is a significant unmet need for rent relief in New York City. Without substantial additional federal funding, tens of thousands of tenants will be left without help. If granted, this funding request to the Treasury Department will go a long way toward meeting that need and ensuring that our state’s rent relief program can continue to help struggling New Yorkers. threatened by housing instability. Governor Hochul has made this program a priority of her administration, which has placed New York State first in line to receive additional funds reallocated from the federal government. »

In addition to spearheading the changes to ERAP, Hochul has brought $100 million in state-funded rent supplements available to localities, committed $125 million for households previously ineligible for ERAP based on income, sign an increase in the amounts of rental vouchers in the law, and authorized $125 million to help landlords whose tenants refused to participate in PARE or who left in arrears.

The governor’s fiscal year 2023 budget includes $35 million for legal services and representation of eviction cases outside of New York City, building on $25 million in legal assistance which was announced at the end of last year.

US Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I urge the administration to quickly direct additional housing assistance to New York City, as Congress intended, from the unused funds we have already appropriated. New York remains on the front lines of this pandemic, and our tenants are suffering a double whammy: being the hardest hit by COVID and paying some of the highest rents. That’s why I’ve advocated for and delivered billions in aid that have gone directly to tenants and building owners to prevent mass evictions, homelessness and crushing debt – and why the unused portions of this relief needs to be directed to high-needs areas like New York as soon as possible. »

U.S. Representative Brian Higgins said, “This additional funding would help resolve the backlog of outstanding assistance requests, supporting tenants and landlords during this difficult time.”

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