MAYVILLE, NY – Tenants in Chautauqua County who owe back rent due to hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic can begin applying for assistance on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
The New York State 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.
New York residents are eligible for ERAP if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size. A household may qualify based on current income or calendar year 2020 income that is at or below 80 percent AMI.
- On or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has rental arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.
- The household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.
While $2.8 billion dollars has been allocated across New York State, the program will run as long as funds remain available.
Household approved for ERAP may receive:
- Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
- Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.
- Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
Payments will be made directly to the landlord/property owner and utility company on behalf of the tenant. Tenant applicants will be notified of the amounts paid on their behalf.
Applications will be accepted starting June 1, 2021 and must be submitted through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance program portal at OTDA.NY.gov/ERAP. Applications cannot be taken to the local Department of Social Services.
Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., has partnered with the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services to provide application assistance. County residents with questions about the program or having difficulty applying for ERAP can get assistance by contacting Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. at 716-366-8176 ext. 3309 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday-Friday. New York State also offers a helpline for applicants. Help is available from 8a-7p 7 days a week at 1-844-NY-ONE-RENT beginning June 1, 2021.
A list of document landlords and tenants will need to apply when the program is open can be found at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/Emergency-Rental-Assistance.