New York Opens Applications for $125 Million Landlord Relief Fund

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 8, 2021
iStock-450743923 New York Money

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the state is now taking applications for a $125 million landlord relief fund aimed at helping property owners recover lost rent revenue. 

"Getting pandemic relief money out the door to New Yorkers has been a top priority for my administration since day one," Gov. Hochul said. "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. This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic."

The pandemic's economic effects led to millions of renters being unable to make regular payments. In New York alone, it was estimated that 500,000 tenants were unable to make their payments, with collective arrears totaling more than $2.2 billion as of July  This, in turn, has put landlords in a tough spot, as the lack of rent payments means they can't pay their expenses either. 

Landlords can apply to for money through the new fund if they meet the following criteria: 

  • * The landlord has a tenant who has left an apartment in New York state with unpaid rental arrears or the landlord has a tenant with rental arrears who is residing in an apartment in New York state who refuses to apply for the state's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and the landlord has reached out to the tenant to encourage participation in ERAP at least three times, including twice in writing.
  • * The unit's rental amount is at or below 150 percent of the Fair Market rent (FMR) for its location. These limits are based on county and the number of bedrooms of the rental unit. If the monthly rental amount exceeds 150 percent of the FMR, the landlord will be ineligible for assistance.
  • * The landlord has documented rental arrears owed for the tenant at his or her residence for rent costs accrued on or after March 1, 2020. 

 They must also agree to certain terms: 

  • * The payment satisfies the tenant’s full rental obligations for the time period covered by the payment.
  • * They must waive any late fees due on any rental arrears covered by the payment.
  • * If the household is currently residing in the unit, they must not increase the monthly rental amount above the monthly amount due at the time of application for assistance for months for which rental assistance is received and for one year from receipt of the payment.
  • * They must have contacted a current tenant household at least three times, two in writing, to encourage participating in ERAP. 
  • * If the household is currently residing in the unit, they must not evict the household on behalf of whom the assistance payment is made for the reason of an expired lease or holdover tenancy for one year from the receipt of the payment. An exception to this requirement shall be made if the dwelling unit contains four or fewer units and the property owner or owner’s immediate family members intend to immediately occupy the unit for use as a primary residence.

 They must also provide documentation, outlined on the program's website

Those whose applications are accepted can get up to 12 months of back rent payments that have accrued on or after March 1, 2020. 

For the first 45 days of the program, priority will be given to landlords who own a building with 20 or fewer units. After 45 days, applications for all eligible landlords will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. Landlords can apply at this link

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