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.


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