On her first day as governor, Kathy Hochul acted to increase awareness of New York's rent relief assistance programs and to boost the work force tasked with completing the applications that are now pending.

She announced a series of changes to both attract more applications and accelerate payments within New York State's Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Under the Governor's direction, the state will invest an additional $1 million in marketing and outreach efforts to raise awareness about the rent relief program, the available funding, and the strong tenant eviction protections in place for those who apply. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which administers the program, will analyze application data to target areas of the state with relatively low numbers of applications.

Governor Hochul is also ordering a rapid review of the rent relief program's workflow, as well as the reassignment of 100 contracted staff to work solely with landlords to complete pending applications, which will accelerate payments. They will conduct direct outreach, work with landlords one-on-one, clarify and obtain missing information, and resolve outstanding issues so that more rent relief funding can be disbursed. Additionally, new data breaking down rent relief payments by county will be posted on OTDA's website later this week to increase transparency. The website currently shows where applications are originating and basic demographics.

"The pandemic thrust countless New Yorkers into financial turmoil and uncertainty, leaving many struggling to pay their rent," Governor Hochul said. "By expanding and better targeting our marketing and outreach efforts, we can raise awareness in the communities that need our help the most, encourage more people to apply, and protect them from being evicted. We are also reviewing and recalibrating the workflow and will dedicate more staff specifically to helping landlords through their application, so we can get outstanding applications fully approved and money out the door much more efficiently."

Currently nearly 50,000 New Yorkers have received approval of their rent relief applications.  we hope the state's residents, including those in our listening area who need it, seek out more information about this important program by clicking here.

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