Liberty, NY – Beginning June 1, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (ODTA) will take applications from people seeking help in paying rent and/or utilities.
“This is an opportunity for anyone who is truly struggling with covering the costs of daily life, especially in the destructive wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sullivan County Health & Family Services Commissioner John Liddle affirmed. “It’s called the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), and it opens June 1 at 9 a.m.”
Households 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. If a landlord is difficult to locate or does not otherwise provide information needed to complete the application, funds will be held for up to 180 days to allow sufficient time to locate the landlord and collect required information as well as to provide tenant protections and maximize landlord participation.
Applications can be made starting June 1 at www.otda.ny.gov/programs/Emergency-Rental-Assistance or at 1-844-691-7368. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
New York residents, regardless of immigration status, 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) – in Sullivan County, that is $40,250 a year for a one-person household, $46,000 for two people, $51,750 for three, $57,450, for four and so on.
- 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 Mar. 13, 2020.
Households eligible for rental arrears may also be eligible for help paying utility arrears at the same rental unit.
Visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/Emergency-Rental-Assistance to see what documents and identification are necessary to prove eligibility.
Landlords and property owners will need to provide:
- Completed W-9 tax form.
- Executed lease with tenant applicant, or if there is no written lease, a cancelled check, evidence of funds transfer or other documentation of the last full monthly rent payment.
- Documentation of rent due from tenant (e.g. ledger, etc.) or attestation on application.
- Banking information to receive direct deposit payment.
The property owner or an authorized property management company will be required to sign the application form and associated certifications agreeing that the information provided, including the amount of rental arrears owed, is accurate and does not duplicate a payment received from another program.
There are further conditions listed at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/Emergency-Rental-Assistance.