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Relief available across the state for tenants, landlords during eviction moratorium

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - A new program is helping tenants pay up to 15 months of rent. It can help tenants avoid eviction, and help landlords get bills paid.

Many people are behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many landlords aren’t getting paid. Now, there’s a way out, through state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program available statewide.

“It’s going to really help solidify families in their homes. I think it will ease the burden of people that feel they’re going to be evicted. And then again help support the landlords out there,” said Cynthia Ackerman, St. Lawrence County Social Services Commissioner.

Tenants can get up to 12 months back rent, and three more months going ahead. It can also pay back utility bills.

People are just now starting to find out about it.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize it’s out. Nor do I think a lot of people in the North Country realize they can apply for it,” said Courtnie Toms, the Deputy Director of Maximizing Independent Living Choices.

Many tenants couldn’t pay rent during the state’s COVID-19 moratorium on evictions. In the spring, it was revealed landlords planned to do at least 260 evictions in St. Lawrence County alone when the moratorium was lifted.

“I would recommend that anyone who feels they meet the criteria for this program, they should definitely apply as soon as possible,” Ackerman said.

Tenants or landlords can start the application but both must supply information. The program can also help with up to 12 months of back utility bills.

Many tenants couldn’t pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the state had a moratorium on evictions. This spring it was revealed landlords planned to do at least 260 evictions in St. Lawrence County alone when the moratorium was lifted.

Those having problems completing the online application can go to St. Lawrence County Social Services for help. Social Services and Maximizing Choices for Independent Living also plan to hit the road with special sign up events around the county.

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