Now that Emergency Rental Assistance (“ERAP”) funds have run out, the Community Housing Improvement Program, an organization that represents 4,000 housing operators, has said that New York state lawmakers and New York Governor Kathy Hochul need to allocate an additional $2 billion to the program. This money would go towards addressing the thousands of renters who still have arrears that have yet to be addressed.
In October, the organization found that 13.7% of renters are more than two months behind on their rents and more than 4.5% of renters are facing arrears of more than $15,000. According to another survey conducted by the organization, at least 100,000 tenants have significant arrears.
State officials already requested an additional $996 million from the federal government earlier in November, but these new funds come with restrictions on how they can be spent. These restrictions prevent the funds from directly aiding renters who are yet to qualify for ERAP. Earlier this year, funding was made available to provide financial relief for landlords whose tenants have been unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 Pandemic due to financial hardship.
Although the eviction moratoriums have delayed evictions, the state needs to act. Many renters cannot wait for additional federal relief to come in. If the state chooses not to act, renters will face massive amounts of debt, and many may be displaced from their homes. Additionally, if the state does not help renters, this can also hurt landlords. Landlords have been asked to provide housing to non-paying tenants for over twenty-one months. Many small property owners cannot face this financial loss and may be at risk of losing their buildings.
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By: Shayne Messing
Law Clerk, Moss & Tapia Law