Request to U.S. Department of Treasury in Upcoming Reallocation Round Would Cover 174,000 Unfunded Applications from Tenants Deemed Eligible for Assistance
More Than $2 Billion in Rental Assistance Already Obligated or Paid, Covering Roughly 166,000 Applications to the Program, Including 109,000 Direct Payments to Landlords
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New York State has requested an additional $1.6 billion from the U.S. Treasury Department to help fulfill the significant unmet need among struggling tenants and landlords who have applied for Emergency Rental Assistance. Under Governor Hochul’s direction, the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance — the agency that administers the program — made the formal request ahead of the next round of federal rent relief reallocation. If granted, the funding would cover roughly 174,000 tenant applications that are not yet funded.
“We delivered nearly $1.4 billion for renters struggling from the pandemic, but we must do more. New York State continues to demonstrate a large need for this federal funding,” Governor Hochul said. “Our appeal to the Treasury to reexamine its reallocation formula to prioritize high-tenant states like New York represents the latest in our continued and vigorous advocacy for those still reeling from the financial impact of the pandemic. We need to ensure that all eligible tenants and landlords are able to tap into this critical assistance.”
Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York State has streamlined and accelerated the distribution of rent relief funds. As a result, more than 166,000 households were protected from eviction and nearly $1.4 billion distributed to landlords via 109,000 direct payments.
After fully exhausting initial funds for this program, the state requested $996 million in reallocation funding from the Treasury Department, or about enough to cover about 70,000 unfunded applications. Yet the Treasury Department provided New York with only an additional $27 million –enough to fund less than 2,000 applications.
Earlier this month, New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois sent a joint letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request additional federal funding and ensure high-need states with large tenant populations are prioritized. Since November, these four states have expended a combined $5.4 billion in assistance —nearly 12 percent of the total $45.5 billion in federal rent relief spread between all states —helping to stabilize more than 625,000 households.
OTDA Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “Unquestionably, there is significant unmet need for more rent relief in New York. Without substantial additional federal funding, tens of thousands of tenants will be left without assistance. If fulfilled, this funding request to the Treasury Department will take a large step toward meeting this need and ensuring our state’s rent relief program can continue to help struggling New Yorkers at risk of housing instability. Governor Hochul has made this program a priority of her administration, which has placed New York State in prime position to receive additional funding reallocated by the federal government.”
Governor Hochul has prioritized supporting tenants and landlords who were hit hard by the pandemic. In addition to spearheading major changes to ERAP, Governor Hochul has made $100 million in state-funded rent supplements available for localities, committed $125 million to households previously ineligible for ERAP based on income, signed a long overdue increase in rental voucher amounts into law, and authorized $125 million to help landlords with tenants who have declined to participate in ERAP or vacated with arrears.
The Governor’s FY 2023 Budget includes $35 million for legal services and representation for eviction cases outside of New York City, building on $25 million in legal assistance that was announced late last year.
U.S. Senator Schumer said, “I strongly urge the administration to promptly direct additional rental aid to New York, as Congress intended, from the unused funds we have already appropriated. New York remains on the frontlines this pandemic and our tenants suffer from a double whammy: being hit hardest by COVID and paying some of the highest rents. That is why I championed and delivered billions in aid that went directly to tenants and building owners to prevent mass evictions, and homelessness, and overwhelming debt – and why the unused portions of this relief needs to be directed to high-needs areas like New York ASAP.”
Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “The initial round of funding was tremendously helpful for New Yorkers and allowed people to stay in their homes and keep their power on. However, tens of thousands of households still need additional assistance. Unfortunately, the last round of funding provided by the Treasury Department was well shy of what was requested. New York has one of the largest tenant populations in the nation, and as such, I hope that the Treasury Department honors the Governor’s request. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her efforts to get this funding secured, and I urge Secretary Yellen to extend additional aid to New York, which would go a long way toward keeping folks in their homes.”
Representative Carolyn Maloney said, “As New York and its residents continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do everything we can to ensure all residents are stably housed. I thank Governor Hochul for making this request, and I’ll continue to do all I can to ensure New Yorkers have the resources they need to come through this pandemic safely.”
Representative Nydia Velázquez said, “With the continued presence of COVID-19, the reality is that too many New Yorkers are still facing dire economic consequences through no fault of their own. Amidst the hardship, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to prevent the trauma and devastation of eviction. That’s why I fought hard to pass multiple rounds of emergency rental assistance at the federal level and support Governor Hochul’s request for additional ERAP funds for New York. We cannot leave working families without access to this program.”
Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, “I join my colleagues’ efforts to ensure New York – given its high demand for rental assistance – receives the appropriate level of funding necessary to keep people in their homes as the coronavirus remains a significant threat to our City and State. As the Biden-Harris Administration prioritizes equity in its policymaking, regional demands must be considered and there remains a strong case for enhanced support for New York’s expansive housing ecosystem.”
Representative Brian Higgins said, “This additional funding would help address the backlog of outstanding requests for assistance, supporting renters and landlords during this difficult time.”
Representative Yvette Clarke said, “Housing is, and will always be, a universal human right and fundamental human need. As a consequence of the past years’ compounding crises, too many New Yorkers are facing housing uncertainties, that have been compounded by the recent expiration of New York’s Pandemic-Era Eviction Moratorium. Fortunately, through programs like Emergency Rental Assistance, a vital safety net exists to help people stay in their homes. I commend Governor Hochul for her decision to request the additional funding to support this necessary program, and for her dedication to preserving the rights and dignity of our most vulnerable communities. Though this additional funding will prove invaluable in the lives of untold New Yorkers, much work remains in addressing, and ultimately overcoming, the root causes of our housing crisis that disproportionately impacts communities of color. At both the state and federal levels, it is paramount we continue to pursue long-term solutions to bring an end to New York’s affordable housing crisis.”
Representative Paul Tonko said, “As we face down this COVID pandemic, millions of landlords and tenants continue to suffer financial hardships through no fault of their own. I’m proud of my work in Congress to deliver needed relief to those in our Capital Region and beyond through our COVID rescue plan. I’ll keep supporting these efforts and I thank Governor Hochul for her continued dedication in ensuring that every New Yorker has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
Representative Hakeem Jeffries said, “House Democrats and the Biden-Harris Administration made funds available for renters and landlords through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers were protected from eviction with that money. However, there are still staggering unmet needs across our state and especially in New York City,” said Rep. Jeffries. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and I thank Governor Hochul for requesting the additional support our state deserves.”
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Emergency Rental Assistance has provided a critical lifeline to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who were struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. It is essential that states like New York, with high renter populations, have the necessary funds to cover all eligible applicants still in need of help. I stand with Governor Hochul in this request and urge Treasury Secretary Yellen to ensure New York State can support our communities and help families stay in their homes.”
Representative Kathleen Rice said, “Governor Hochul has worked hard to get vital rent relief out the door and into the hands of thousands of landlords, protecting more than 166,000 households across the state. However, there is an ongoing need for additional funding to support the many New Yorkers still in need of rental assistance. I was proud to support Governor Hocul’s request for additional funding during the first round of federal rent relief reallocation, and I will continue fighting for additional resources to protect the many families who are at risk of housing insecurity in our state.”
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “New York State has more renters than any other state in the country, and many households have been struggling to pay rent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. ERAP has proven to be an invaluable tool in providing much-needed assistance to eligible New Yorkers who are unable to pay their rent and it is critical we replenish the fund to support the ongoing recovery of our state,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “As New York continues to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face significant rental debt and possible eviction. Representing the district with the highest concentration of rent stabilized apartments, my constituents will benefit greatly from this, and I am proud to support this latest request from Governor Hochul to rebuild the state’s program – to give families the support they need to help keep them in their homes.”
Representative Joe Morelle said, “As we contend with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must protect every person’s fundamental right to safe, secure housing. I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to ease the burden on landlords and tenants, and I continue to support an expansion of rent relief efforts during these challenging times. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership and commitment to helping provide safety and stability for New York families.”
Representative Jamaal Bowman said, “One of the many devastating impacts of the COVID pandemic is the worsening of our housing crisis. This housing crisis that predated the pandemic is disproportionately impacting renters of color who face higher unemployment rates, are more likely to contract and become severely ill with COVID-19 and are more likely to lose their homes. The federal government must do everything to provide an immediate infusion of funds to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which gives millions of American families, many of them with children, the possibility of remaining in their home. We must also call for more comprehensive outreach and education to both tenants and landlords, for a simplification of the application process, and formal protections that would require a landlord to wait for the program’s funding to arrive before evicting tenants. I join with Governor Hochul in supporting New York State’s request for more federal funding for emergency rental assistance and will do everything I can in Congress to deliver this relief.”