NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10522
SPONSOR: Rules (Cymbrowitz)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act in relation to enacting the "emergency rent relief act of 2020"
to establish an interim residential rent relief program; and to provide
for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to support rental households impacted by the
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill would direct the commissioner of New York State Homes & Commu-
nity Renewal (HCR) to establish a short-term rental assistance program
available to rental households whose primary residence is in the state
of New York with an income below 80% of the area median income (AMI) and
a rent burden or amount of rent due over 30% of income both prior to
March 7, 2020 and at the time of application. The bill provides that
assistance shall be made available for rental payments due between April
1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
The bill provides that up to $100 million shall be made available for
this program, and the commissioner of HCR is directed to establish pref-
erences to prioritize households with the greatest economic and social
need, with factors such as income, rent burden, percentage of income
loss and risk of homelessness being considered.
The commissioner is also directed to produce a report on the monthly
expenditures made pursuant to this act, including recipient demographic
data, regional data, and details on subsidy values, by October 31, 2020.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
Many families that were already rent burdened, or paying more than 30%
of their income toward rent, before the COVID-19 pandemic are now expe-
riencing a loss of income and a corresponding increase in rent burden
-putting them at risk of nonpayment, eviction and homelessness, and
their property owners at risk of falling behind on essential mortgage,
tax, insurance and maintenance payments. This legislation would provide
interim relief to renters struggling in the wake of COVID-19, helping to
mitigate the pandemic's negative effects on our State's tenants.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
Up to $100,000,000 of monies that have been allocated to the State of
New York by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(CARES) Act of 2020 shall be made available for this program.
STATE OF NEW YORK
May 25, 2020
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Cymbrowitz)
-- read once and referred to the Committee on Housing
AN ACT in relation to enacting the "emergency rent relief act of 2020"
to establish an interim residential rent relief program; and to
provide for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "emergency rent relief act of 2020".
3 § 2. 1. For the purposes of this act:
4 a. "Coverage period" shall mean April 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
5 b. "Eligible household" shall mean a household (i) with an income
6 below 80 percent of the area median income, as adjusted for family size,
7 both prior to March 7, 2020 and at the time of application; (ii) with a
8 rent burden both prior to March 7, 2020 and at the time of application;
9 and (iii) has lost income during the coverage period.
10 c. "Income" shall mean income from all sources of each member of the
11 household, including all wages, tips, overtime, salary, recurring gifts,
12 returns on investments, welfare assistance, social security payments,
13 child support payments, unemployment benefits, any benefit, payment or
14 cash grant whose purpose is to assist with rental payments, any payments
15 whose purpose is to replace lost income, and any other government bene-
16 fit or cash grant. The term "income" shall not include: employment
17 income from children under eighteen years of age, employment income from
18 children eighteen years of age or older who are full-time students,
19 foster care payments, sporadic gifts, groceries provided by persons not
20 living in the household, supplemental nutrition assistance program bene-
21 fits, earned income disallowance, or the earned income tax credit.
22 d. "Fair market rent" shall mean the fair market rent for each rental
23 area as promulgated annually by the United States department of housing
24 and urban development's office of policy development and research pursu-
25 ant to 42 USC 1437f.
26 e. "Rent burden" shall mean the amount of a contract monthly rent
27 which is more than 30 percent of the household income.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 10522 2
1 2. The commissioner of housing and community renewal is hereby author-
2 ized and directed to establish and implement an interim residential rent
3 relief program to support households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
4 3. Such program shall be provided up to $100,000,000 of monies that
5 have been allocated to the state of New York by the federal Coronavirus
6 Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-136)
7 that have not otherwise been obligated, to provide rental assistance to
8 eligible households for their primary residence in the state of New
10 4. A rental subsidy shall be provided in the form of a voucher to be
11 provided directly to the owner of the dwelling unit for applicants
12 determined to be eligible households during the coverage period in an
13 amount equal to the difference between the applicant's rent burden on
14 March 1, 2020 and their rent burden during the month or months assist-
15 ance is requested for. Such subsidy shall be limited to 125 percent of
16 the fair market rent.
17 5. Applicants shall not be expected or required to repay any assist-
18 ance granted through this program unless otherwise required by law.
19 Assistance shall not be considered income for purposes of public bene-
20 fits or other public assistance. There shall be no requirement on appli-
21 cants to seek assistance from other sources, including charitable
22 contributions, for eligibility.
23 6. The commissioner of housing and community renewal may delegate the
24 administration of portions of this program to any state, county, city,
25 town, or public housing agency or any non-profit organization as neces-
26 sary to implement such program.
27 7. The commissioner of housing and community renewal shall establish
28 preferences prioritizing households with the greatest economic and
29 social need in processing applications for this program. Such prefer-
30 ences shall account for, at a minimum:
31 a. the historical income level of the household as it relates to area
32 median income;
33 b. the rent burden of the household;
34 c. the percentage income lost for the household; and
35 d. the risk of homelessness or eviction.
36 8. The commissioner of housing and community renewal shall, on or
37 before, October thirty-first two thousand twenty submit and make public-
38 ly available a report to the governor, the temporary president of the
39 senate, the speaker of the assembly, and on its website, on the monthly
40 expenditures made pursuant to this act including recipient demographic
41 data, regional data, and details on subsidy values.
42 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire July 31,
43 2021, when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed