Photo by Jonathan Riley on Unsplash
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday the state has requested an additional $1.6 billion from the United States Department of Treasury to help fund the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance program. Although $1.4 billion has been distributed to New Yorkers struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are nearly 174,000 tenants whose applications to the state’s program have not yet been fulfilled, according to the governor.
In November 2021, the state requested $996 million from the Treasury, which had offered states additional funding using leftover money from the $25 billion they designated for rental assistance. New York was granted only $27 million. Now, Hochul is making another attempt to get the much-needed funds for struggling New Yorkers.
“We delivered nearly $1.4 billion for renters struggling from the pandemic, but we must do more. New York State continues to demonstrate a large need for this federal funding,” Hochul said.
“Our appeal to the Treasury to reexamine its reallocation formula to prioritize high-tenant states like New York represents the latest in our continued and vigorous advocacy for those still reeling from the financial impact of the pandemic. We need to ensure that all eligible tenants and landlords are able to tap into this critical assistance.”
Earlier this month, New York, California, New Jersey, and Illinois sent a joint letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the treasury to send additional funding to their states which have large tenant populations.
Since last November, these four states have spent a total of $5.4 billion in rent assistance, 12 percent of the total $45.5 billion the treasury allocated for use by all states.
“Unquestionably, there is a significant unmet need for more rent relief in New York. Without substantial additional federal funding, tens of thousands of tenants will be left without assistance,” OTDA Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said. “If fulfilled, this funding request to the Treasury Department will take a large step toward meeting this need and ensuring our state’s rent relief program can continue to help struggling New Yorkers at risk of housing instability. Governor Hochul has made this program a priority of her administration, which has placed New York State in prime position to receive additional funding reallocated by the federal government.”
New York’s eviction moratorium expired on January 15 after Hochul chose not to extend the freeze. However, any New Yorker who applies for rental aid is protected from eviction while the state reviews their application. Approved applicants cannot get evicted for one year for having failed to pay rent. New Yorkers in need of rent assistance can find out more here.
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