Assemblyman Otis Announces Applications Open for NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program

In an effort to share information of important funding assistance included in the state budget, Assemblyman Steve Otis (D - AD 91) has announced that the application for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is now open for eligible renters and landlords to address rent owed because of financial hardship during the COVID-19 health emergency. The State will provide $3.5 billion in assistance for renters and small businesses experiencing financial hardship.

Assemblyman Otis stated, “These are unprecedented times, and the state budget has included a variety of programs to assist renters, property owners and other businesses. If you believe you may be eligible for assistance, please follow-up with the agency running the program.”

The 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. New York residents are eligible for ERAP if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • 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 financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has rental arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.
  • The household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.

There are no immigration status requirements to qualify for the program. Households eligible for rental arrears may also be eligible for help paying utility arrears at the same rental unit. For more information and to apply, please visit the OTDA website at:

Other small business programs can be found at the website of New York’s economic development at