Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced that he was going by executive order to extend the state’s program, which should bring relief to tenants who find themselves in financial distress during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Of the $ 100 million allocated from federal funds to rescue tenants, $ 60 million remained unspent, and this money is what the governor is counting on. The problem, however, is that the money will end on December 31st, just like the ban on eviction of defaulters.
Last week, Cuomo finally released details of the program, which has been amended in favor of residents. So, for example, now it is not necessary for the applicant to prove that he was experiencing a “rent burdened” even before the epidemic. These were tenants who paid more than 30% of their income for housing.
The practical implementation of the program is entrusted to the New York State Office of Homes & Community Renewal. Will reopen to accept applications from New Yorkers who have not used this chance before or did not fall under the old rules.
Who is entitled to help? Those who lost income between April 1 and July 3, provided that their family lived on means prior to the epidemic that was 80% or less of the average income in the area of residence. Those who previously submitted an application, but did not receive money, do not need to re-fill any papers.
The agency will review all previous waivers in accordance with the new criteria.
Human rights activists are calling for more ambitious action, in particular for the announcement of a new moratorium on evictions, since the previous one expires on December 31. Financial assistance, of course, will alleviate the situation, but it will not solve all the problems.
“People who run into rental debt are under increasing pressure,” says C Weaver, coordinator for Housing Justice for All. – The governor’s executive order cannot completely eliminate this pressure. We need a comprehensive moratorium on evictions. At least within the state budget for the next year. “
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