Are You In Rental Arrears?


 The application for rental assistance is now open! 

The State will provide $3.5 billion in assistance for renters and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for the program will be accepted starting June 1 for eligible New Yorkers who are behind on their rent and have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide assistance with up to 12 months of past-due rent, three months of prospective rental assistance and 12 months of utility arrears payments to eligible New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.  



Residents of New York State are eligible for ERAP rental assistance if:

Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size. A household may qualify based on current income or calendar year 2020 income that is at or below 80 percent AMI.​​

You can find the income limits for Ontario County here


On or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has renters arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.

Households eligible for rental arrears may also be eligible for help paying utility arrears at the same rental unit. 

Households approved for ERAP rental assistance may recieve:

  • Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accursed on or after March 13, 2020.

  • Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household spends 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.

  • Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

Payments will be made directly to the landlord/property owner and utility company on behalf of the tenant. Tenant applicants will be notified of the amounts paid on their behalf. If a landlord is difficult to locate or does not otherwise provide information needed to complete the application, after initial outreach efforts, funds will be held for 180 days to allow sufficient time to locate the landlord and collect required information as well as to provide tenant protections and maximize landlord participation.

Let's Apply

Your application must be submitted on the website linked below. If you need assistance with your application, don't worry! You can follow along with these helpful videos created by OTDA. 


Documentation Checklist

You should have the following documentation on hand before starting your application, as it must be completed in one sitting. 

 1.  Identity:

You need to submit one (1) form of identity verification documentation listed below for each household member.

If you are unable to submit one for each household member, that does not prevent you from receiving assistance, but it may delay processing time for your application. Note that expired IDs are acceptable.

Examples of documentation to prove identity for household members:​

  • Photo ID, such as:

    • Passport​

    • Driver's License

    • Military ID

    • State ID

    • Other Government ID (e.g. consular card/NYCID)

  • Non-driver government-issued ID

  • EBT/Benefits Issuance Card

  • Birth Certificate

  • Medicare card

  • Student ID

  • Immigration Card (not required)

  • Baptismal certificate

  • School records

  • If none of the above can be provided, two (2) collateral contact statements are acceptable. (A "collateral contact statement" is from someone who knows the identity of the person.)

 2.  Address/Residency:

You need to submit one (1) form of documentation listed below in order to prove your address.

Address documentation should be current, i.e. it should affirm that this is the address where you are currently living.

Examples of documentation to prove the address submitted on your application:

  • Lease

  • Driver's License

  • Rent receipt

  • School records

  • Benefits award letters

  • Utility Bills (same address as submitted on the application)

  • Bank statement

  • Insurance bill

  • Piece of mail with name and address

  • If none of the above can be provided, two (2) collateral contact statements are acceptable. (A "collateral contact statement" is from someone who knows the person lives at address.)

 3.  Income:

You need to submit one (1) form of income documentation listed below for every household member who is 18 years or older and is receiving income.

You may report current or 2020 annual income.

Examples of documentation to prove monthly income of any household member that has income:

  • Paystubs (minimum of 1)

  • Social Security benefits award letter

  • Veteran's benefits award letter

  • Public Benefits award letter

  • Child support award letter/enforcement printout

  • Child support affidavit

  • Bank records/statement that show regular deposits

  • Unemployment Insurance benefit letter

  • For self-employed, self-attestation (forms)

  • Self-attestation, if none of the above can be provided


  • 2020 IRS Tax Return (Annual, AGI), forms such as:

    • 1040​

    • 1040 EZ

    • W-2s

    • 1099s

 4.  Monthly rent amount:

You need to submit one (1) form of documentation listed below to verify your monthly rent.

If available, a lease should be provided.

Examples of documentation to establish the monthly rent amount:

  • Formal lease

  • Tenancy agreement

  • Lapsed lease

  • Evidence of payments made, such as Rent Receipt, Canceled Check or Money Order

  • Landlord statement

  • Self-attestation, if none of the above can be provided

 5.  Utility arrears:

If you are asking for help to pay utility arrears, you need to submit a copy of your gas and/or electric bill.


Frequently Asked Questions

The OTDA website has a very in-depth and resourceful FAQ section, which can be found down below.