Long Islanders have another week to seek emergency rent relief from the state.
New York extended the application period for its COVID Rent Relief Program from July 30 to Aug. 6, the state announced Friday.
Selected tenants will benefit from a one-time subsidy payment that covers a portion of their rent for up to four months. The relief is reserved for households that were rent-burdened before the pandemic, and have since lost income, according to Homes and Community Renewal, the state agency overseeing the program.
The extension comes after social service providers voiced concern about the two-week application period. They said many tenants, and particularly immigrants, had a hard time quickly filling out 14-page forms and gathering supporting documents.
The state received 68,000 applications by the initial deadline on July 30, according to HCR.
"By keeping the online portal open for another week, we can make sure everyone who needs to apply for assistance has the opportunity to do so," HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said in a statement. "This program is intended to prioritize households across the state with the greatest economic and social need, accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness. HCR will not make any determinations on a first-come, first-served basis.”
The later deadline will allow more Long Islanders to get their applications in, according to Pilar Moya-Mancera, executive director of Housing Help Inc., a Huntington Station nonprofit that helps families access affordable housing and develop financial skills.
"Many people who are facing financial hardship lack access to printers, internet, and postage. We are thankful to the HCR for the extra time they have granted," Moya-Mancera, a Huntington Town resident, said in a statement. "This will allow us to expand our outreach and enable us to guide those in need to get their applications entered. The only way we can overcome this pandemic is if people are safeguarded a place to live and stay at home.
Digital applications will be accepted in English and Spanish through 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 6. Printed submissions must be postmarked by Aug. 6, HCR said.
A state call center can assist residents, including those with limited English proficiency, at 833-499-0318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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