A new application process for the state's rent relief program will relax documentation requirements for tenants and landlords in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The state has also set the goal of being current for all pending verified applications by the end of August, when New York's moratorium on pandemic-related evictions is set to expire.
The new application process for submitting arrears documentation for multi-tenant landlords takes effect on Tuesday, July 27. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, meanwhile, will be able to establish viable applications out of the total of more than 150,000 submitted by Aug. 7.
The announcement also comes as the state has faced bipartisan criticism for the lack of rent relief going out the door as pandemic restrictions have eased in recent weeks. New York has received $2.6 billion in federal aid for rent relief, but only a fraction of the money has been approved so far. About $100 million in state aid has also been set aside.
"The COVID pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on New Yorkers all across the State, and they need rental assistance now," Cuomo said. "The $2.7 billion Rental Assistance Program is already providing funding to some of our most vulnerable residents who were prioritized during the first 30 days of the application process, and now we must focus on delivering funds to the remaining applicants. To streamline this process, I've directed OTDA to work with their vendor to disburse payments as quickly and efficiently as possible we can deliver billions of dollars in rental assistance to New Yorkers who have been struggling to pay rent due to no fault of their own."
Cuomo's office also announced the state's rent relief program has more than 1,000 staffers committed to the effort.