Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) - Updated November 2021

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) - Updated November 2021

To view this article in Spanish, visit here: https://www.lawny.org/node/466/programa-de-asistencia-de-emergencia-para...

Can I be evicted during the pandemic?

In short - maybe. Evictions are still happening. There is not a rent holiday; tenants still owe unpaid rent. Do not ignore court papers.

Evictions are on hold until January 15, 2022, but ONLY if you submit a hardship declaration and the court accepts it.

On August 12, 2021, the law regarding hardship affidavits changed. Your landlord can now request a hearing to challenge your hardship affidavit and present proof that you did not suffer a hardship. At the hearing, you will also be allowed to present evidence that your household did suffer a hardship. If the judge determines that you did suffer a hardship, the eviction case will be put on hold till January 15, 2022. If the judge determines that you did not suffer a hardship, the eviction case will proceed. 

 

What is the emergency rental assistance program?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance to cover their back rent and, if applicable, an additional 3 months of future rent, and up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020. You may not apply for utility arrears alone. In general, funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers. This is a grant - the money does NOT need to be repaid.

 

Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you must meet the following three criteria:

1) Owe past due rent at your current residence;

2) On or after March 13, 2020, a member of your household received unemployment benefits, OR experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic ; AND

3) In certain counties, have a household gross income at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI), which varies by county and household size. (For example, the limit for a household of four would be $64,100 in Ontario County - see application website for full details). 

  • Starting November 14, 2021, residents who live in the following areas with a gross household income at or below 80 percent of AMI may still submit applications for ERAP assistance:

    • Dutchess County

    • Nassau County (not including the towns of Hempstead or Oyster Bay)

    • Niagara County

    • Oneida County

    • Saratoga County

    • Suffolk County (not including the towns of Brookhaven or Islip)

    • Westchester County (not including the city of Yonkers)

    • Also starting November 14, 2021 , households in all other areas of the State with a gross income between 80 and 120 percent AMI may qualify. These AMI income limits differ by county and household size. A household may qualify based on current income or calendar year 2020 income that is between 80 and  120 percent AMI. Households with income between 80 and 120 percent AMI are eligible for a state-funded ERAP payment so long as funds remain available. *

  • For those who may still apply under these guidelines, you do not have to be actively facing an eviction to apply. 

 

How do I apply?

Applications and a list of necessary documentation can be found here

Can I be evicted while I am waiting for ERAP assistance?

If you show the court that you have a pending application, it should stop any eviction proceeding until there is a decision on your application. If ERAP pays your rental arrears, you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of that rent, and are protected from a no-cause holdover eviction for one year from the date the landlord accepts payment.

 

Need Help Applying?

Social services districts and community-based organizations in each locality can assist both tenants and landlords in completing applications. They also can provide internet access, assist with uploading documentation, and answer other questions that you might have. Find help applying for ERAP in your county, click here. 

Other Resources

You can access frequently asked questions here. 

Watch this video for help completing the online tenant application and uploading documents. 

 

Talk To An Attorney

Contact your local LawNY office for help.

Visit www.lawny.org or call your local office:

Bath (607) 776-4126; Toll Free (877) 776-4126

Elmira (607) 734-1647

Geneva (315) 781-1465; Toll Free: (866) 781-5235

Ithaca (607) 273-3667; Toll Free: (800) 724-4170

Jamestown (716) 664-4535; Toll Free: (866) 664-4567

Olean (716) 373-4701; Toll Free: (888) 767-1950

Rochester (585) 325-2520

 

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© Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. ®

This article provides general information about this subject. Laws affecting this subject may have changed since this article was written. For specific legal advice about a problem you are having, get the advice of a lawyer.  Receiving this information does not make you a client of our office.

 

 

Last Reviewed: November 22, 2021

 

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