Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has announced that tenants behind in paying rent and/or utility bills due to a COVID-19 hardship may be eligible for the New York State Rental Assistance Program, which is funded by the federal government and administered in partnership with the County’s Departments of Social Services and Community Development.
Approximately $24 million is available to help those who are up to 12 months behind in back rent, as well as to pay up to three months of future rent, depending on eligibility. Tenants and landlords who are owed rent by individuals may apply for the program. Payments will be issued directly to landlords and utility companies.
Tenants may apply to receive rental and utility bill assistance if, since March 13, 2020 and due to COVID-19, they are behind in payments; have a member of the household who has received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income; and meet income and other requirements. To be eligible, adjusted gross income for 2020 cannot exceed $54,950 for an individual, $62,800 for two-person households, $70,650 for three, $78,500 for four, $84,800 for five, $91,100 for six, $97,350 for seven and $103,650 for eight.
Renters who meet eligibility criteria and landlords who have eligible tenants in arrears are encouraged to apply soon, as funds will be distributed on a rolling basis. The application process opened on Tuesday, June 1st. Information is available at www.orangecountygov.com/2057/Emergency-Rental-Assistance
or Orange County residents may call 311.
The County’s 311 hotline can also help locate immediate housing for those living in unlivable or temporary conditions, and individuals fleeing domestic violence. The hotline also provides collaborative and professional telephone support and outreach 24-hours a day to anyone in Orange County in need of emotional support, crisis intervention, or connection to food resources.