New York State
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
On This Page:
What It Does
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program assists
households behind on their rent that have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19, and are at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
In addition, the program can provide temporary rental assistance and assistance with unpaid utility bills.
Do I Qualify?
To be eligible for this program you must meet the following criteria:
Household gross income at or below 80 percent of area median income, which varies by county and household size.
A member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The applicant owes past due rent at their current residence.
Income Limits For Ontario County
Your household gross income must be at or below the amount that corresponds with your household size to qualify.
How Do I Apply?
Applications must be submitted online beginning June 1st
There are different steps depending on if you are a renter, or if you are a landlord. Select the option that pertains to you down below to learn more about the application process.
Updates for Tenants & Landlords
When is the money coming?
OTDA expects that funding going to applicants who submitted paperwork in the first 30 days of the program- an estimated 100,000 people- will begin going out this week (week of 7/26/21). Funding will come directly from New York State.
Can I still apply for the program?
YES! Even if it may take several weeks for the funds to begin flowing, you should still apply because you are protected from eviction while your ERAP application is pending.
What protections do I get as a tenant?
If a tenant has a completed, pending ERAP application, they are protected from eviction unless they are deemed ineligible for the program.
If eligible for the program, the ERAP payment will satisfy a tenant’s full rental obligations to the landlord for the time period covered by the payment, which can be up to a year.
Other protections include:
Waiving late fees due on any rental arrears covered by the ERAP payment
A commitment not to increase monthly rent above the monthly amount due at the time of application for ERAP assistance for months for which rental assistance is received and for one year from receipt of the ERAP payment.
To not evict the household for reason of expired lease or holdover tenancy for one year from receipt of the ERAP payment. Exceptions will be made if a dwelling unit contains four or fewer units and the property owner or owner’s immediate family members intend to immediately occupy the unit as a primary residence.
What happens if my landlord or tenant doesn't cooperate?
If you are eligible for ERAP as a tenant and your landlord refuses to provide the information needed to complete your application or refuses to accept ERAP funds, you will be provided with a letter to show to the court if your landlord attempts to evict you, according to state documents.
Also, you can’t be evicted because you failed to pay rent during the time period covered by your ERAP payment that the landlord refused to accept, according to the state.
Landlords who make good faith efforts to contact their tenants about the main program and don’t receive a reply can apply directly to a $100 million state fund meant for this purpose
Governor Cuomo Announces Streamlined Application Process for ERAP
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new streamlined application process for New York's rent relief program to help eliminate potential barriers for eligible New Yorkers to receive funding. The new process immediately relaxes documentation standards for both tenants and landlords and implements a streamlined process for submission of arrears documentation for multi-tenant landlords effective July 27. With these new processes in place, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will be able to establish a number of viable applications out of the total of over 150,000 submitted by August 7.
Additionally, the contracted vendor working with the State on the rent relief program now has over 1,000 staff dedicated to this effort and will be onboarding additional accounting experts. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will also onboard a minimum of 350 State staff volunteers from other agencies starting today to clear the pending 4,828 cases reviewed and verified applications for payment by August 3. By August 31, OTDA will be current with payments for all pending, verified applications.
"The COVID pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on New Yorkers all across the State, and they need rental assistance now," Governor Cuomo said. "The $2.7 billion Rental Assistance Program is already providing funding to some of our most vulnerable residents who were prioritized during the first 30 days of the application process, and now we must focus on delivering funds to the remaining applicants. To streamline this process, I've directed OTDA to work with their vendor to disburse payments as quickly and efficiently as possible we can deliver billions of dollars in rental assistance to New Yorkers who have been struggling to pay rent due to no fault of their own."
The program is expected to serve between 170,000 and 200,000 households.
Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes
Family Promise of Ontario County
Legal Assistance of WNY
Still Have Questions?
We're here to help! You can call any of the organizations below for questions or assistance with your application