Bills were passed into law and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo this week to extend help to renters and mortgagees from losing use of rented or mortgaged property due to non-payment, due to Covid-19 related issues.
When the Covid 19 pandemic hit, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order barring all evictions until August 20, 2020, due to nonpayment of rent.
That left many landlords frustrated, since they too counted on the rent from tenants for income, and in some cases, could not sell property or protect property from further damage if they could not evict tenants during that time. Nor could they evict non-paying tenants to rent to tenants who could afford to pay the rent for those six months that rent was suspended by Cuomo’s executive order.
Renters have been pushing for an exemption from ever paying the back rent to landlords, realizing putting off paying rent for months only meant they had a large bill for rent to pay when the pandemic was “over,” and jobs more plentiful, and bills to that effect were presented to the legislature, but defeated.
Landlords who were forced to keep families in their units for “free” for months because evictions weren’t allowed to evict, wondered if they would be able to withstand the loss of rent for months from those who benefited from the new “no eviction for nonpayment” rule, which also barred until Aug. 20 landlords from inspecting their rented properties, charging late fees for late rent, or showing their occupied properties to other prospective tenants, despite lease agreements made between landlords and tenants when the properties were first rented.
The new slate of bills signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo provides up to $100 million in rent subsidies to eligible New Yorkers based on income and other criteria. The money comes from a $2 trillion federal stimulus package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and will cover money owed from April 1 to July 31
There are some qualifications that need to be met in order to be eligible for help: people will have to prove they lost income due to the pandemic, and their income must be below 80% of the area median income, as adjusted for family size. The rent must be more than 30$ of the household income, as well as other criteria that must be met. If the renter is qualified, the landlord will receive a rental subsidy voucher for those deemed eligible.
The program is being run by the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal. The phone number for questions is 1 (833) 499-0343.