New York State Has Requested $996 Million in Additional Federal Funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury
Program Has Either Obligated or Paid More Than $2 Billion in Rental Assistance, Covering Roughly 165,000 Applications to the Program, Including Over 81,000 Direct Payments to Landlords
17 Members of New York State's Congressional Delegation Have Submitted a Letter to the U.S. Treasury in Support of the Application; Read Their Letter Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New York State has requested $996 million in additional federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help fulfill an unmet need among struggling tenants and landlords. Governor Hochul directed the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance — the agency administering New York's program — to apply for federal funding from reallocated sources sometime this fall.
"From the start of my administration, I pledged to get federal rental relief money to New Yorkers still recovering from the pandemic. While New York accelerated getting rent relief out the door and moved from the back of the pack to the front amongst other states, there are still many individuals in need of assistance," Governor Hochul said. "I thank Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and the entire Congressional Delegation for their support. New York has demonstrated both a need for this funding and an ability to distribute it, which is why we believe New York is well positioned to receive any additional assistance that may come available through the Treasury's forthcoming reallocation."
Less than six months after first taking applications, New York State's Emergency Rental Assistance Program now nearly fully obligated its $2.4 billion in funding.
The program began accepting applications on June 1 and has since received more than 280,000 applications. After OTDA issued the first direct payments to landlords in mid-July, payments accelerated under Governor Hochul.
In total, the program has either obligated or paid more than $2 billion in rental assistance, covering roughly 165,000 applications to the program, including over 81,000 direct payments to landlords. Last month, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance warned that the program's federal funding was almost entirely committed, except in limited areas where allocations have not yet been exhausted.
Absent additional federal assistance, the program will be unable to fulfill many pending funding requests. Recognizing this as a looming concern, Governor Hochul first contacted the U.S. Treasury to request additional funding in late September, indicating the need and the state's intention formally apply for more funding. Led by Congresswoman Rice, 17 members of the New York State Congressional delegation have submitted a letter to the U.S. Treasury in support of this application.
OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara Guinn said, "Clearly the demand for rental assistance across New York State is far outstripping the amount of funding we have available. I applaud Governor Hochul for recognizing this early on, making this program a priority of her administration, and taking swift action to ensure New York State is in a position to receive any funds reallocated by the federal government."
Senator Chuck Schumer said, "New York tenants suffer from a double whammy: they were hit hardest by COVID and they pay some of the highest rents. That is why I championed and delivered billions in aid that went directly to tenants and building owners to prevent mass evictions, and homelessness, and overwhelming debt. But the scale of New York's tenant needs means that without additional rental assistance funds reallocated by the Treasury Department, New York will almost certainly see additional evictions that could be prevented. So, I am strongly urging the administration to redirect additional aid to New York, as Congress intended, from the unused funds we have already appropriated."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Even as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of New Yorkers and millions nationwide are still struggling to pay their rent and keep a roof over their heads. I urge all eligible New Yorkers to apply for rental assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and I will continue fighting for federal relief to protect renters, ease the ongoing housing crisis and ensure that every New Yorker has a place to call home."
Representative Kathleen Rice said, "Governor Hochul has worked hard to get vital rent relief out the door and into the hands of thousands of landlords, protecting more than 165,000 renters across the state. However, further relief is still needed, and thousands of families are in danger of losing their homes with the holiday season and the end of the eviction moratorium right around the corner. That's why New York State's application for additional funding must be prioritized by the Department of the Treasury. Thank you to the 14 members of the House and our Senators for joining our letter to Treasury in support of New York's application, and thank you to the Hochul administration for its continued action to address housing insecurity."
Representative Jerrold Nadler said, "Like much of the nation, New York has been devastated by this pandemic. The first round of federal funding from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been tremendously helpful in keeping food on tables, utilities powered on and families in their homes. We have begun to recover economically, but unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of families still need help. I am proud to join the other members of the delegation in urging the Treasury Department to extend additional aid to New York, which would go a long way toward keeping folks housed and financially secure."
Representative Carolyn Maloney said, "Far too many families have struggled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardworking New Yorkers lost their jobs and closed their businesses through no fault of their own, and many are now struggling to pay their rent. Residents have a right to stay safely housed and to be able to afford their rent, and I'm happy to fight for additional funds to take care of these New York families."
Representative Nydia Velázquez said, "Although our State has made significant progress in helping working families recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is that many are still facing dire economic consequences. Amidst the hardship, no one should have to face the devastation of being evicted from their home. That's why I fought hard to pass emergency rental assistance at the federal level and applaud Governor Hochul for taking proactive steps to unleash more funding to help working families who remain in need of rental assistance."
Representative Brian Higgins said, "Congress approved Emergency Rental Assistance to address threats to housing stability created due to the pandemic. We applaud and support Governor Hochul's efforts to secure the additional resources available to answer the calls for help coming from New York tenants and landlords."
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, "There was a housing crisis before COVID-19, and the pandemic simply laid bare the numerous challenges, inequities, and vulnerabilities that many New Yorkers face on a daily basis. As our communities continue to recover from the economic impacts and aftermath of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of residents face significant rental debt and are on the brink of instability and homelessness. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has proven to be an invaluable tool in our efforts to helping New Yorkers get back on track. This latest request from Governor Hochul will help further our collective efforts to ensure housing stability and assistance for residents across New York State so that communities truly can build back better. Programs like ERAP guarantee that no one is left behind on our road to recovery."
Representative Jamaal Bowman said, "Individuals and families in our communities need further rental assistance as this pandemic is ongoing. The cost of living in New York continues to increase while many people, primarily women and people of color, lag behind others in returning to work due to obligations within the home among other reasons, and for those who do return to work - they make less than their white counterparts on average. In addition, having a child in your household is the single greatest predictor of an eviction, and we know that housing instability can leave children experiencing homelessness, trauma and devastating cycles of poverty. We must provide more rental assistance to individuals and families in order to combat poverty amidst this pandemic."
Representative Ritchie Torres said, "As our country continues to feel the burden of the pandemic and families struggle to make ends meet, it is crucial that our state receives the necessary emergency rental assistance funding in order to help renters stay in their homes and landlords receive their payments. Additional funds from the Treasury Department would help New York provide assistance to the thousands of applicants that still need help, expedite application processing and ensure communities are kept whole. Our state needs the additional federal funds and hope that this request is met."
New York State is among the leaders in payments made or obligated, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which tracks the state-by-state implementation of ERAP.
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