New York received more than $2 billion from the federal government to provide rental assistance for residents experiencing financial hardship during Covid. With this funding, the State created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), a program that will help low to moderate income households pay off the back-rent they accrued during the pandemic.
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is the agency charged with overseeing the creation and processing of the actual application.
What does it cover?
• up to a year of rental arrears payments
• up to a year of electric or gas arrears payments
• up to 3 months of additional, ongoing assistance with the rent
Who is eligible?
• Tenants at risk of eviction because of financial hardship experienced, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The household must be in NY State
• The household’s gross income (current or 2020 calendar year) is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size. For example, in The Bronx the income limit would be:
|For one tenant:||$66,850|
|For a family of four:||$95,450|
Immigration status is not a factor!
What documents does the tenant need to provide?
- Personal identification : photo ID, driver license or non-driver government-issued ID, passport, EBT/Benefits Issuance Card, birth or baptismal certificate, school registration.
- Social Security number of any household members who have been issued one. Individuals do not need to have a lawful immigration status to qualify for the program.
- Proof of rental amount, signed lease, even if expired. If no lease is available then proof can be shown through a rent receipt, canceled check or money order. If no documentation is available, landlord attestation will be accepted.
- Proof of residency and occupancy – Signed lease, rent receipt, utility bill, school records, bank statement, postal mail with name of applicant, insurance bill, or driver license.
- Proof of Income to document income eligibility:
- Documents demonstrating monthly income for the prior month, such as pay stubs, bank account deposit verification, unemployment benefits letterOR
- Documents demonstrating annual income for 2020, such as a W-2 tax form from an employer, an annual statement of earnings, or a copy of a completed income tax return, or other evidence of 2020 annual income.
(Self-attestation of income is permitted in certain circumstances where no documentation is available such as certain self-employment).
- Copy of gas or electric utility bill, if applying for help paying for utility arrears at the same rental unit.
Get help in the application process:
ERAP Enroller Organizations:
The community-based organizations listed below can help you apply for ERAP.
Neighborhood Association for Intercultural Affairs, Inc. (NAICA)
Black Veterans for Social Justice, Inc.
Good Shepherd Services (GSS)
RiseBoro Community Partnership
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc
RiseBoro Community Partnership
Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services (CCNS)
Frequently Asked Questions
List of relevant FAQ’s cited from The City’s Rent Update Newsletter (Suscribe here):
|Is it too late to apply for rent relief?|
No! If you or people you know haven’t applied for New York’s emergency assistance program, there’s still time. The $2.7 billion first-come, first-served program doesn’t have an application deadline.
You can qualify if your household income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (which is $95,450 for a family of four), if you experienced some kind of financial hardship because of the pandemic or if you are behind on your rent for some time after March 2020.
|Can you be evicted if you’re waiting to hear back about your rent relief application?|
No. If you’ve applied for the state rent assistance program to pay back what you owe, you have a bit of a buffer. Your case can’t move forward in court and a new one can’t be started until you’ve heard back about qualifying.
|Is there still money left for tenants who haven’t applied yet?|
Yes. We don’t know how many people will be able to get assistance from the fund because the size of the awards will vary depending on how much people owe. But the state anticipates the program will serve between 170,000 and 200,000 households. About 120,000 households have applied so far.