Thursday, January 21, 2021

Got landlord problems?

Laws that protect us during 

the pandemic

 I.                    STATE RENT RELIEF PROGRAM – 

deadline to apply: FEB. 1, 2021.


Previous applicants for New York State’s COVID 

Rent Relief will not have to reapply to be reconsidered. 

NY State Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) 

will re-evaluate all applications that were denied 

according to the new criteria and issue revised

 determinations to applicants.


The COVID Rent Relief Extension Program will provide 

eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy 

that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord

Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. 

The COVID Rent Relief Extension Program is not 

first come, first served. Applications will be accepted 

throughout the application period. HCR will prioritize 

eligible households with “greatest economic and social



Eligible households must meet all of the following 


·       Must be a renter and have a primary residence 

in New York State;

·       Applicants must have lost income during the 

period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;

·       Before March 7, 2020 and at the time the 

application is submitted, household income 

must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income

adjusted for household size;   and

·       Households must be paying (or asked to pay) 

at least 30% of their income in rent during the 

months they are applying for assistance between 

April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020. 


Applications will be accepted through 

Monday, February 1, 2021.


The subsidy for eligible applicants will be calculated as

the difference between the household’s rent burden on 

March 1, 2020 and the household’s rent burden during

 the months of April, May, June and July of 2020 (coverage 

period), except that for applicants whose rent burden was 

lower than 30% on March 1. The subsidy will be sized to

 reduce their rent burden to 30% for the lowest month 

during the coverage period.


EXAMPLE:  You were paying 15% of your income 

in rent on March 1. Then you lost your job but have 

found some small gigs to pay part of the rent.  Your 

rent, if you were able to pay it in full, would come to 

40% of your current income.  So the subsidy would 

be 25% (the difference between 40% and 15%) of 

the rent amount, paid directly to Stellar.


For help, applicants can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief 

Extension Program Call Center for assistance at 

1-833-499-0318 or


II.                 Eviction Moratorium 

If you fill out hardship declaration!

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure                                            and Prevention Act of 2020 says no one can be evicted                                      (except for creating a nuisance or hazard) before                                    February 26, 2021,and offers eviction protection until                                      May 1st for those who fill out this tenant hardship declaration                          form(English and Spanish available).  It can go to

Anyone who is behind on rent and falls into one of the                                          two protected categories listed on the form itself should                                      fill out the form as soon as possible, even if you don’t                                            currently have a case in housing court. That will 

(1) shine a spotlight on how many people are suffering                                     nearly a year after the pandemic began, and 

(2) guarantee you two more months of eviction protection. 

Free Legal Help

  •  Goddard Riverside West Side Law Project:                            212-799-9638,,                                   51 W. 109 Street.
  • Housing Conservation Coordinators:                                     212-541-5996 
  • Legal Aid: 212-577-3300
  • Legal Service 917-661-4500
  • Winnie Shen in Assembly Member                           O’Donnell’s office,
  • 311 (for a lawyer and for a “one shot deal”                               to get a loan to pay Stellar a lump sum).
  • All charity assistance:  Housing Court Answers,                      212-962-4795.


Attachments area

Get help to sign up for a COVID Vaccine Appointment



Phone:  501-510-0251

By computer:    

For older adults living in NYC struggling to secure a COVID vaccine appointment, the Vaccine Appointment Assistance Team (VAAT) is here to help!  VAAT is a grassroots effort, unaffiliated with any organization or agency, to help adults age 65+ struggling to secure vaccine appointments.  VAAT consists of highly dedicated, fast-typing, quick-clicking, tech-savvy juniors looking to help seniors. After you submit a request, one of our Appointment Specialists will reach out to you to discuss your needs.  


Requests are preferably submitted online. Sue can do it for you if you give her your information (see below). 


Please note that VAAT does not have special relationships with any vaccination sites, so it cannot guarantee success in securing appointments.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sad news: Maria Acevedo has died

The Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association

mourns the loss of our long-time neighbor and former board member, floor captain and treasurer of our tenant association


who passed away on January 18, 2021 at the age of 77 of kidney failure.  

We extend our condolences to her brother Tom, with whom she lived.

There will be a short memorial on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 

from 9:30 to 10:30 AM 

at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street.  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Get a COVID vaccine if you're eligible!


On Tuesday, I got vaccinated at a City site in the Bronx. I was given the Moderna vaccine and although my arm was a bit sore and I had a headache (it went away with Tylenol), I was fine on Wednesday.  My husband got vaccinated through his employer (Columbia) Wednesday morning with the Pfizer vaccine, and he's had no reaction at all.  You can schedule an appointment at  or Mt. Sinai's website.  or call 877-VAX-4NYC.  I'm sharing this because I know some people are nervous about getting vaccinated. 


The technology that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use ("mRNA") has been studied for years and has gone through all the proper safety trials.  These vaccines are NOT the virus itself, so you cannot get COVID from the shot. Instead, the vaccine primes your body to recognize (and then attack) just the spiky outside of the virus. 


While many people have a 1- or 2-day reaction to the second shot (you need two shots to be protected about 95%), COVID is way worse.  Many people with COVID are hospitalized, and many of those die. Risks are higher for those who are older - the very people for whom vaccines are now available.  But even younger people who have mild illness or are asymptomatic have experienced heart and lung damage - as tested in some college athletes.   Some people are still sick from COVID months after.  


Dr. Fauci estimates that about 70% to 85% of the population has to be vaccinated (or have had documented COVID) for life to return to some semblance of normal.  That's a lot higher than for the flu shot.  And vaccines work!

Viruses die out when there are not a lot of other people conveniently available to get infected.  That's what "herd immunity" is about:  when MOST people in a population are immune, the virus just dies out.  The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines work for 95 out of 100 people.   But you won't know whether you're one of the 5 unlucky ones. So even after you get vaccinated, wear a mask and observe social distancing until some 85% of us have been vaccinated and we get herd immunity.  Then we'll all be able to breathe safely again!  Click on "read more" to see if you're eligible. 

Sue Susman


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2 new laws protect tenants

In response to tenant pressure, the State Legislature passed and Gov. Cuomo signed two new laws that protect tenants:

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act

This pauses all eviction proceedings (except for creating a nuisance or hazard) until February 28, 2021.

That gives time for landlords to give tenants a HARDSHIP DECLARATION that the tenant can sign under penalty of perjury and return to the landlord or to the court.  If that hardship declaration is signed, the landlord cannot proceed with any eviction case (except for nuisance or hazard) until at least May 1, 2021.  Nuisance cases will proceed normally (but remotely because of the pandemic).

The tenant will still owe the rent money. 

If you get an eviction notice, call 311 for free legal assistance IMMEDIATELY. 

The COVID Rent Relief Program is only available through Feb. 1, 2021.  It will pay some or all of rent money due for up to 3 months to Stellar directly. 

To qualify, you must 
  • Be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State;
  • Have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • Fit the income requirement - which is pretty liberal:  Before March 7, 2020 and at the time the application is submitted, household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; and
  • Be paying (or supposed to pay) at least 30% of your income in rent between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.