NY releases $ 125 million To landlords whose tenants did not apply for exemption

Gov. Kathy Hochul (Getty Images, iStock)

Prior to this week, the state rent assistance program had shown a blank offer to landlords like Claudia Avin.

The owner of a brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Avin and her partner Paul Chineye had rented a duplex apartment through AirBnB to a man in November 2019. He stopped paying rent the following February and has since managed to raise over $ 65,000 in arrears.

When the state’s rent assistance program opened in early June, Avin jumped at the chance to cover her losses; however, her tenant could not be bothered.

“As soon as the money was up and running, we submitted all our paperwork. We even asked him to apply, ”said Avin. “And he said he did not fill out the forms.”

Under the Emergency Assistance Act legislation, if a tenant refuses to fill out their share of the paperwork, the state will not approve their landlord’s application for arrears. So landlords like Avin were left behind – until now.

Starting this Thursday, a new piece of financing is offering these owners a shot at relief.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday released $ 125 million in rent aids to landlords whose tenants either refused to apply for ERAP or left the apartment with outstanding arrears.

The money will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to small and medium-sized property owners with 20 or fewer units.

State funds were pinned to last month’s extension of New York’s moratorium on eviction.

Although Avin hopes the funds will help her finances, she knows they will not make her whole.

ERAP, released in June, covered 12 months of backlog and up to three months of future payments approximately 15 months into the pandemic. This new financing can be applied to a twelve-month arrears. Some landlords are looking at a year and a half of non-payment.

For Avin, it has been twenty months.

“We have not received a penny from this squatter since January 2020,” Avin said.

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