Governor Cuomo mentioned the state goes to make the state’s $2.7 billion hire reduction program that’s been the topic of quite a few complaints from tenants and landlords simpler to entry.
The Emergency Rental Help Program went into impact originally of June, and 160,000 New Yorkers throughout the state utilized to this point. However over almost two months, the Workplace of Short-term and Incapacity Help (OTDA), the state company answerable for this system, has despatched out solely $117,000 in what it mentioned had been check funds designed to make sure this system was working securely.
On Monday, Cuomo mentioned the state would calm down documentation necessities for tenants and landlords, streamline the applying course of, and convey on board no less than 350 volunteers from different state companies to assist course of purposes. The adjustments would lead to funds being despatched out for all pending and verified purposes by the tip of August.
“The COVID pandemic has taken an amazing toll on New Yorkers all throughout the State, and so they want rental help now,” Cuomo mentioned in an announcement.
A spokesman for OTDA, Justin Mason, mentioned the company additionally made almost $700,000 in hire reduction funds on Monday.
Tenant advocates welcomed changes round documentation guidelines, however mentioned the adjustments didn’t go far sufficient as a result of they don’t deal with points across the on-line software portal, which has triggered issues for a lot of candidates.
Jack Newton, director of the general public advantages unit at Bronx Authorized Companies, mentioned a lot of his shoppers, particularly low-income and senior New Yorkers, have discovered the method difficult as a result of an electronic mail deal with is required to submit an software. The location has additionally had varied technical glitches, and doesn’t enable purposes, which may take a couple of hours to finish, to be saved and resumed.
“So many individuals battle each to seek out the proof required and discover a option to submit it by means of the portal,” he mentioned.
Landlord teams, which have additionally been vital of the applying course of, mentioned they had been ready for extra particulars on the adjustments. However Jay Martin, govt director of the Neighborhood Housing Enchancment Program, mentioned the announcement was a begin.
“Step one is admitting there’s a downside, so we’re completely satisfied the federal government has cleared that bar,” he mentioned. “We actually hope the adjustments introduced as we speak will make this course of simpler. 1000’s of lives rely on it.”