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Need help with rent? Here’s how to get it

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The federal government’s new Emergency Rental Assistance program provides a way to catch up on rent you owe, and can help pay the rent going forward.

But you have to apply for the money. Where to start?

In Watertown, the newly-opened CARE Center at the Urban Mission’s thrift store on Factory Street is the place to go.

“It’s a multi-part process that requires the tenant to fill out an application and submit documentation and then there is another piece for the landlord to submit documentation,” said Dawn Cole, the Urban Mission’s Executive Director.

To qualify, you need to show that your household experienced financial hardship like unemployment or a reduction in pay due to Covid-19 and that you are behind on your rent any time since March of last year, when the pandemic started.

There are people on hand at the CARE Center to answer questions about the application process.

“Now, we’re not reviewing the applications, that’s being done at the state level. and they’re processing the payments. But we will help you get everything you need to get completed in order to be in the queue for payments,” Cole said.

The assistance can pay up to 12 months of past due rent and for some households, three months of future rent. The program can also pay up to 12 months of over due electric or gas bills.

Coles says the application is done completely online so the process can be started on your own, but if problems arise, they are ready to help.

Here’s the link to the application: https://nysrenthelp.otda.ny.gov/en/

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