Madison County highlights rental assistance program for eligible tenants, landlords

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WAMPSVILLE — The Madison County Department of Social Services and Community Action Partnership for Madison County have announced that county residents and landlords can apply for assistance beginning Tuesday, June 1, at 9 a.m.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will enable tenants and landlords to apply for rental arrear payments.

Gov. Andrew M/ Cuomo announced funding of $2.7 billion statewide to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds — administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program — will provide assistance with up to 12 months of past-due rent, three months of prospective rental assistance and 12 months of utility arrears payments to eligible New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.

The rental assistance program will assist households behind on their rent and that have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80% of area median income.

During the first 30 days, the program will prioritize the unemployed, those with income at or below 50% of area median income and other vulnerable populations. After the first 30 days, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.

For an overview of the program, visit otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/ERAP-Overview.pdf for more information.

In April, Madison County received 55 responses to a survey sent out to County landlords to assess tenants’ ability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the state and federal moratoriums on eviction.

Surveys submitted from zip codes representing Oneida, Canastota, Chittenango, Cazenovia, Hamilton and Morrisville among several other Madison County communities.

Through this survey, Madison County was able to gain a better understanding of the financial hardships that landlords and tenants are currently facing.

The survey revealed a total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have 20 rental units or less; a total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have rental buildings or less.

A reported 175 rental units are one or more months behind in monthly rent, with a total amount owed of $627,319 — ranging from $0-$95,000 — with an average of $11,406 owed to landlords.

A reported 127 rental units are one or more months behind in monthly rent specifically due to COVID-19. The total amount owed is $513,784 — ranging from $0-$44,134 — with an average of $9,342 owed to landlords.

“We have seen first-hand the financial hardship that COVID-19 placed on both Madison County residents and landlords, and we hope that with this state funding, both will receive much-needed assistance to ease their financial burden,” said Madison County Department of Social Services Deputy Commissioner for Financial Assistance Tricia Platt.

For more information, potential applicants and landlords should visit otda.ny.gov/erap or call 844-NY1RENT (844-691-7368). Madison County DSS and CAP are also on hand to assist with ERAP questions and information.

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