If you’re a struggling New York landlord who couldn’t get relief in the original Emergency Rental Assistance Program, you can now apply for thousands of dollars in aid through a new state program launched Thursday.
The Landlord Rental Assistance Program gives eligible recipients payments of up to a year’s worth of past-due rent. This covers landlords who could not participate in the federally-funded state Emergency Rental Assistance Program either because their tenants declined to complete an application, or had vacated their residences while still behind on their rent payments.
According to Governor Kathy Hochul, $125 million in state funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis through the Landlord Rental Assistance Program. Preference is being given to owners of buildings with 20 or fewer units who leased the buildings at or below 150% of the fair market rent for their location.
“I am proud that our state’s rental assistance program has already provided much needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help,” Hochul said in an Oct. 7 statement. “This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic.”
The state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) will administer the new program. All applicants must complete an online application and have documentation showing that their tenants were in arrears of their rental payments after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, in March 2020.
Applications opened on Oct. 7 and will remain open for the next 45 days. If you’re an eligible landlord, visit otda.ny.gov/lrap to apply for relief.
The Landlord Rental Assistance Program was created in legislation enacted on Sept. 2 that included an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium through Jan. 15, 2022. The ban was elongated as the state ramped up distributing more than $2 billion in federally-backed tenant relief, after getting off to a dubiously slow start in that effort.
State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who chairs the state Senate Housing Committee, said both the eviction band and the financial assistance for tenants and landlords are going a long way toward resolving the pandemic housing crisis.
“The eviction and foreclosure moratorium and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program are already offering enormous relief and we’re continuously pushing to improve the effectiveness of these initiatives. The new State funding to pay rent arrears that are ineligible to be paid under our federally funded ERAP program demonstrates our commitment to a truly comprehensive approach,” Kavanagh said. “It’s especially important that property owners whose tenants may have left their apartments after months of not being able to pay their rent will now be eligible for payments, ensuring that unpaid rent debts from this period will not continue to burden either the landlord or the tenant.”
To date, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided more than 63,000 direct payments to landlords of a combined $804 million; more than $1.8 million in total rental assistance has been either “obligated or paid” as of Oct. 7.
Hochul is seeking additional funding from the U.S. Treasury Department for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.