For many renters in need, documenting their loss of income...

For many renters in need, documenting their loss of income is the biggest challenge, said Gwen O'Shea, president and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island.     Credit: Johnny Milano

Nassau County is revising a $6 million residential rent relief program launched in January, with the goal of sending out more than the $1.25 million currently distributed.

The program has assisted 200 households, and another 100 cases are in the review and payment process, according to Gwen O'Shea, president and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDC), which is running the initiative.

The county is now offering three months of prospective rent to households in need, in addition to the three months of unpaid back rent that was initially available.

"COVID-19 has put tenants and landlords in a difficult place, and I am pleased to say that more help is on the way," County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. "By providing this additional relief, Nassau is extending a lifeline to those struggling from the financial burden and uncertainty of the pandemic."

The CDC is relaxing certain documentation standards and will now accept attestations about tenants' circumstances in certain situations, O'Shea said.

"The biggest challenge really for a lot of individuals is how to document some of this," O'Shea said, noting that attestations from tenants, their employers, co-workers and landlords may be able to help. "For someone let's just say that was working at a nail salon and perhaps was renting the table there and was getting primarily paid in cash ... it might be difficult for that individual to show through bank statements or pay checks how their income was lost."

The CDC will reach out to households that already received aid and inform them that they may be eligible for additional support. Two bilingual employees have been assigned to the program, and Nassau County may increase staffing further.

To qualify for assistance, Nassau residents must have been current on their rent up until March 2020, and then have lost income because of the pandemic. The program is open to households that make no more than 80% of the county's median income, which is $70,900 for an individual and $91,150 for a family of three.

The county will send payments directly to the landlord or management company.

For more information, visit bit.ly/3mPF9Qo.

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