Struggling New Yorkers Can Apply for Rent Relief

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at a press conference in New York City, May 26, 2021. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York state is making $3.5 billion in assistance available for renters and small businesses who are struggling economically due to the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.

$2.7 billion worth of emergency rental assistance will be open for applicants who are behind on their rent due to the pandemic. The aid will be administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and will provide for up to 12 months of rent that are past due, 3 months of upcoming payments, and 12 months of utility payments. The program is expected to cover up to 200,000 households. It will prioritize families who are on the risk of homelessness, and who typically spend up to 30% of their income on rent.

Applications for the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program open June 1.

$800 million in funding is available in the form of recovery grants for small businesses, in order to help them recover from the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.

Small business and small for-profit cultural organizations can apply for flexible grants up to $50,000 to cover operating expenses, including payroll, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, personal protective equipment, or other business expenses from the pandemic. The program is expected to cover up to 330,000 small businesses.

Applications will open June 10.

In order to make New Yorkers aware of these programs, ads will be run in local newspapers and digital ads will be posted on social media and job sites.

“New Yorkers and small businesses in every corner of the State were devastated by the pandemic, and as we continue to recover and rebuild we need to make sure they have the resources they need get back on their feet and succeed in a new, reimagined economy,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This critical funding will help ensure New Yorkers who are experiencing financial hardship through no fault of their own will not be thrown onto the streets, while also providing stability for small businesses so they can help play a role in New York’s economic resurgence.”

The programs are being funded by $2.6 billion in federal resources and $100 million of state funding.