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COVID Rent Relief Program Reopens with Expanded Eligibility Criteria

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has announced that the COVID Rent Relief Program has reopened for applications with expanded eligibility criteria. The application period will remain open through Feb. 1, 2021, and previous applicants do not need to reapply to be considered. HCR will reevaluate all applications that were denied according to the new criteria and issue revised determination letters to applicants. Applications for the program and additional information are available here.

The Program’s eligibility has been changed to no longer require households to have been considered “rent burdened” – that is, paying more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income toward rent – prior to the pandemic in order to qualify. To qualify for this one-time subsidy, applicants impacted by the pandemic must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State;
  • Must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • Before March 7, 2020, household income must have been at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; and
  • Must be “rent burdened” during the months they are applying for assistance between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.

The Program’s online application is available in both English and Spanish, and HCR also expects to provide applications in Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean, and Bengali.

For assistance, applicants may contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov. Call Center representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Contact: Sara Neitzel, sneitzel@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8835