The Madison County Department of Social Services and Community Action Partnership for Madison County want Madison County residents and landlords to know that they can apply for assistance beginning immediately.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will enable tenants and landlords to apply for rental arrear payments. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced May 26 that there is $2.7 billion available statewide to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through ERAP will provide assistance with up to 12 months of past-due rent, three months of prospective rental assistance and 12 months of utility arrears payments to eligible New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.
The rental assistance program will assist households behind on their rent that have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income.
During the first 30 days, the program will prioritize the unemployed, those with income at or below 50 percent of area median income and other vulnerable populations. After the first 30 days, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.
For an overview of the program, visit otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/ERAP-Overview.pdf.
In April, Madison County received 55 responses to a survey sent out to county landlords to assess tenants’ ability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the state and federal moratoriums on eviction. Surveys represented Oneida, Canastota, Chittenango, Cazenovia, Hamilton and Morrisville among several other Madison County communities.
- A total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have 20 rental units or fewer;
- A total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have five rental buildings or fewer;
- 175 rental units are one or more months behind in rent, with a total amount owed of $627,319 (ranging from $0-$95,000) with an average of $11,406 owed to landlords; and
- 127 rental units are one or more months behind in monthly rent specifically due to COVID-19. The total amount owed is $513,784 (ranging from $0-$44,134) with an average of $9,342 owed to landlords.
Through this survey, Madison County was able to gain a better understanding of the financial hardships that landlords and tenants are currently facing.
“We have seen first-hand the financial hardship that COVID-19 placed on both Madison County residents and landlords and we hope, with this state funding, both will receive much-needed assistance to ease their financial burden,” said DSS Deputy Commissioner for Financial Assistance Tricia Platt.
For more information, applicants and landlords should visit otda.ny.gov/erap or call 844.691.7368. Madison County DSS and CAP are also on hand to assist with ERAP questions and information.
New York state has extended the eviction moratorium until Aug. 31, 2021.