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Struggling New Yorkers could get a piece of $2.7B in rental assistance: Cuomo

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New Yorkers who may still be struggling to make ends meet could get some help from Albany which plans to pay out from a $2.7 billion pot, with applications opening up June 1.

The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will be doling out the funds through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program which could provide people with enough money to cover 12 months of past-due rent, three months of prospective rental assistance and 12 months of utility arrears payments.

Governor Andrew Cuomo expects the funds to serve anywhere from 170,000 and 200,000 households

“New Yorkers and small businesses in every corner of the State were devastated by the pandemic, and as we continue to recover and rebuild we need to make sure they have the resources they need get back on their feet and succeed in a new, reimagined economy,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This critical funding will help ensure New Yorkers who are experiencing financial hardship through no fault of their own will not be thrown onto the streets, while also providing stability for small businesses so they can help play a role in New York’s economic resurgence.”

The funds are geared toward people who may be at risk of becoming homeless or may be experiencing housing instability as long as they earn less than 80% of the area’s median income.

Within the first 30 days, those who are unemployed, have an income at or below 50% of the AMI and other vulnerable populations will be prioritized; but after that period, anybody who qualifies can apply depending on the availability of remaining funds, according to the administration.

Under the program, landlords will be required to waive any fees relating to late payments, while only under limited circumstances will the tenant be legally subject to rent hikes or evictions. The administration, however, did not expand on those details.

The majority of the funds are from federal assistance to the state, likely through the American Rescue Plan.

There is an additional fund for businesses experiencing hardship as well due to the pandemic, according to the governor.

Starting June 10, $800 million will be parsed out small businesses, for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in $50,000 grants and can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, taxes, utilities and personal protective equipment.

The state says that 330,000 small businesses are eligible along with 57% of the state’s certified women and minority-owned businesses.

In order for a business to be eligible, annual gross receipts for 2019 will need to be presented to the state which will determine whether or not proprietors receive between $5,000 or $50,000.

Losses also have to have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021.

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