Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D-Rochester) announced he helped pass the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020 (A.10522), which will allocate up to $100 million in federal CARES Act funding to help New York renters facing COVID-19-related hardships.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread job loss and economic uncertainty, causing many New Yorkers to fall behind on their rent through no fault of their own, said Bronson. The scope of this pandemic and its financial consequences on our families is unprecedented, which is why we need to step up and do all that we can to extend a helping hand to those who are struggling. This bill will help countless New Yorkers and ensure that those most in need are not left to fend for themselves as a result of this devastating crisis.
The legislation creates a short-term rental assistance program and makes $100 million available for those eligible, with preference given to households with the greatest economic and social need. The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) will administer the program and can delegate local authority to other state agencies, counties, cities, or non-profits. The bill directs HCR to prioritize at-risk households by considering factors such as percentage of income lost and risk of eviction. Renters are considered eligible if their income was less than 80% of the area median income (AMI) and spent more than 30% of their income on rent prior to March 7.