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New Yorkers: you can now get emergency rental assistance to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic

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Page last updated: 7/16/20.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned many of our lives upside down. Jobs have been lost, the economy is struggling – and many have been left wondering if they can make their next rent payment.

If you're a New Yorker, there's (finally) some relief available. The state has just announced an emergency rental assistance program for NY tenants who are facing financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

If you're eligible, you'll get a one-time rental subsidy payment – this will go directly to your landlord or housing provider. It's not just one rent payment either. You can seek help to pay up to four months of rent (from April to July 2020). You won't owe any funds back to the rental assistance program, as it's been designed to help those who need it the most – and keep them in their homes.

Who's eligible?

Any renter whose primary residence is in New York State can use the program. You'll need to check the HCR website to find your "area median income" based on your household size – this has to be below 80% to qualify. You also have to have been "rent burdened" before March 1 2020, and still be burdened at the time of applying – this means you're paying more than 30% of your monthly income towards rent. You also need to have lost income between April 1 and July 31.

What you'll get

The amount you get depends on how much your "rent burden" is – i.e. how much of your income you're spending on rent now, compared to what you were spending before the pandemic. If your hours have been dropped or you've taken a pay cut, you could get help under the program.

The amount you get is designed to cover the gap to get you back to what your "rent burden" was before the COVID-19 crisis.

Living with roommates

You can still apply if you're sharing an apartment with roommates. It's slightly different though, as you'll only be able to get assistance on the part of the rent you're responsible for. Click here for more information about this.

You can apply from July 16 2020, and you've got two weeks to send it in. For more information and to apply for the program, click here.

Image credit: @benobro

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