State streamlines rent relief application process
NEW YORK (WWNY) - After coming under fire for a slow roll-out, the state is streamlining the way people apply for its rent relief program.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the changes Monday. The state has been criticized for not getting money to struggling renters quickly enough.
He said the new process relaxes the standards for documentation for both tenants and landlords starting Tuesday.
The governor said over 1,000 staff are now dedicated to the effort and more will be added.
Right now, the state has a backlog of around 4,800 applications that have already been approved, which it hopes to clear and disperse the money by August 3. Officials hope to be current on all applications by August 31.
The $2.7 billion program makes emergency rental assistance available for people struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It helps those who are behind on their rents because of financial hardships, who are at risk of homelessness or housing instability, and who earn 80 percent or less of area median income.
Renters can apply for 12 months of past rent and utility bills and three months of rent help into the future.
The program is expected to serve between 170,000 and 200,000 households.
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