State Has Paid or Obligated More Than $1.6 Billion of ERAP Funding
Governor Kathy Hochul issued a letter to Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting additional Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding for New York State as many New Yorkers continue to struggle with rent payments amid the ongoing pandemic.
The full text of the letter is below:
September 21, 2021
Dear Secretary Yellen:
As New York State continues to recover from the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face deep rental debt and ultimately potential eviction from their homes. To help meet this need, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has been an invaluable tool in already assisting over 120,000 eligible New Yorkers who are unable to pay their rent. However, New York State is rapidly reaching a critical milestone as all ERAP funding allocated to it by the United States Treasury will soon be fully obligated or distributed. Given that we are at this very critical juncture, I am writing to provide you with an update of the rapid progress we have made with our program and to formally request additional funding to further meet the needs of tenants who have significant rental debt and who could face eviction and long-term housing instability without additional federal assistance.
New York State began accepting applications for ERAP on June 1, 2021. Since that date, over 205,000 applications have been submitted and the State has obligated and/or paid over $1.6 billion of ERAP assistance. This includes payment of over $517.5 million on behalf of over 40,000 households. Based on New York's high level of performance, and when factoring in allowable administrative expenses, New York anticipates that it will have fully obligated all available federal assistance by early October. In the meantime, New York State continues to receive applications at a rate of over 9,000 per week. To further demonstrate New York State's commitment to averting a potential eviction crisis, the State has instituted the longest eviction moratorium in the nation and has provided $250 million in State funds to help vulnerable landlords and tenants who are not eligible to receive Federal ERAP assistance. Even with these additional State funds, New York's need far exceeds available funding, and an additional allocation of federal funding will be required to address this crisis.
Beginning September 30, 2021, the Treasury is directed to recapture any "excess" unobligated funds and to reallocate them to grantees that have obligated at least 65% of their first round of emergency rental assistance funding. Since New York has already fully obligated its first round of emergency rental assistance and will very shortly obligate all of its second round of emergency rental assistance funding, the State has established a demonstrable need and is eligible to receive additional funds. Initial ERAP allocations were based on a per capita distribution formula and did not consider New York's high percentage of renting households. I am requesting that the reallocation of ERAP funds take into consideration the number of renter households in a State.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience and thank you for your consideration.
cc: New York Congressional Delegation
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