Assemblyman Colton is Not Pleased with the Way Emergency Rental Assistance Program Performs

Assemblyman Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is saying that as of June 1, 2021, New York State began accepting emergency rent relief applications from tenants and landlords who have been severely impacted financially by COVID-19. 

“In April, the State Legislature created a $2.7 billion program for emergency assistance to low and moderate-income tenants who were impacted by the pandemic. In the month of June, since the program has launched, more than 100,000 New Yorkers applied for the aid. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance guidelines stated that it will take up to 6 weeks to process the applications. The program was supposed to prioritize households that meet certain criteria within the first 30 days as it began. Unfortunately, almost 2 months later, the state has distributed less than $120,000 to applicants in need and that’s unacceptable,” Colton stated.

“Luckily, starting today July 27, 2021, Governor Cuomo has implemented a new streamlined application process for the NY rent relief program to help eliminate possible obstacles to receive funding. The new process will immediately loosen documentation standards for both tenants and landlords,” Colton continued.

“The good news is that the NYS OTDA will bring a minimum of 350 State staff volunteers from other agencies to clear over 4,000 cases reviewed and verified applications for payment by August 3. Also, it’s expected by August 31, that OTDA will be current with payments for all pending verified applications. The reality is that the pandemic took a great toll on New Yorkers and they need this assistance now. Anyone within my district who needs to apply for an ERAP program can contact my office by calling (718)236-1598 and my dedicated staff will help,” Colton added.