New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program Information
About the Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The New York State (NYS) Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides income-qualified renters and landlords who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 with up to 12 months back rent and up to three months future rent. Utility arrears assistance is also available in some cases. Just applying protects the tenant from eviction or landlord from foreclosure for 180 days.
Why apply today?
In all cases, while an application is pending approval, both tenants and landlords can prevent eviction or foreclosure, respectively, under these new protections offered under NYS. Vulnerable households that need rental assistance are encouraged to apply immediately to, at minimum, guarantee the protection from eviction and foreclosure alone.
What are the rental protections for both tenants and landlords?
Watch: October 14, 2021 Landlord/Tenants Rights Virtual Forum with Columbia County Fair Housing Advisory Board
ERAP provides significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance, and utility arrears assistance. With that relief, there are certain protections provided to both tenants and landlords participating in the program.
PROTECTIONS FOR TENANTS
Tenants who apply for ERAP cannot be evicted because of an expired lease or for failure to pay rent during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If a landlord refuses to provide information needed to complete an application or refuses to accept funds, the tenant will be provided with a letter that can be shown to help stop an eviction. Once a landlord accepts an ERAP payment, the tenant cannot be evicted for not paying rent during the period covered or for an expired lease during the 12 months following this payment. Tenants, however, remain responsible for paying any rent owed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic or not covered by the ERAP payment.
PROTECTIONS FOR LANDLORDS
As a condition of receiving an ERAP payment, a landlord must agree that these funds satisfy their tenant’s full rental obligation for the covered period. This agreement does not mean that a participating landlord can no longer evict a tenant for other reasons. If a tenant owes rental arrears that predate the pandemic or does not pay rent in the future, a landlord is permitted to start eviction proceedings once any applicable moratorium expires. While participating landlords cannot evict a tenant for an expired lease or holdover tenancy in the 12 months following the receipt of the ERAP payment, this agreement does not preclude them from starting eviction proceedings on other grounds. These eviction protections also do not apply when a unit is in a building containing four or fewer units, nor when the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family intends to immediately occupy the unit as a primary residence.
How does the program work?
Currently, NYS is accepting applications for rental assistance from households adversely impacted by the pandemic and earning below 120 percent of the area median income. Administered by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, this program oversees a total of $2.6 billion in federal funding to pay up to 12 months arrears and three months of prospective rent directly to landlords, while providing approved tenants with up to a year of eviction protection, provided they continue to pay rent.
Additionally, new NYS legislation set aside $125 million in state funding to assist those landlords with tenants that either refuse to participate in the program or have vacated the premises with arrears. Federal guidelines require that both tenant and landlord apply to the broader ERAP program, so this additional state funding will allow the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance to post a separate application for landlords seeking this assistance sometime in early October.
Who is eligible?
Tenant eligibility is determined based on the following criteria:
- The individual or family pays rent in an apartment, home or mobile home in the state of New York.
- They make at or below 80% and 120% of the median income for that area, adjusted for household size.
- They qualify for unemployment, experienced a reduction in household income or experienced significant costs or financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- They are at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
Where can I apply?
The ERAP application process is online-only. Click here to apply through the NYS ERAP portal.
Share your contact info with us using the below form if you'd like to attend an in-person application event where you can receive assistance in filling out your application. A full list of documentation necessary to apply can be found here.
NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Overview Flyers are available in multiple languages: