Hochul Offers New York Landlords $125M in Rent Relief

Funds will be available for owners with tenants who could not take part in COVID-related rental aid

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New York will offer $125 million in aid to landlords whose tenants skipped out on rent and could not take part in the previous COVID-related relief programs, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday.

The program, dubbed the “Landlord Rental Assistance Program,” will dole up to one year of past-due rents to owners who were previously ineligible for the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

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“I am proud that our state’s rental assistance program has already provided much needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help,” Hochul said in a statement. “This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic.”

Landlords of buildings that have units leased at, or below, 150 percent of fair market rent for their area with tenants that skipped out on rent after March 1, 2020, will be eligible for the new program. Priority would be given to owners of properties with 20 or fewer apartments who apply within the first 45 days of today’s launch, according to Hochul.

To be eligible for the funds, landlords can’t take part in ERAP either because a tenant vacated the apartment or did not take part in the federal program.

Hochul vowed to quicken the pace of pandemic rental funds as soon as she stepped into office, something her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, was slow to do. Under Cuomo, the state only doled out 5 percent of the $2.7 billion pool of funds available to both tenants and landlords.

However, Hochul boosted that number from $114.1 million, covering 8,035 payments to landlords, to $804 million and more than 63,000 owners. And the governor recently sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department pleading for more money for New York’s ERAP.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.