Mount Vernon hosts rental assistance program as NY eviction moratorium deadline looms
Mount Vernon hosted an event Saturday that's helped residents apply for assistance as the eviction moratorium in New York set to end in exactly one month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an extension back in May that extends the moratorium to Aug. 31.
That's why the local nonprofit United Way was Mount Vernon Public Library to help people apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP.
Two Thousand families are currently facing eviction. But by Aug. 31, when the eviction moratorium ends for good, thousands more could be left out on the streets.
"We've already seen homelessness rates go up," says Mayor Shawyn Patternson-Howard.
"Because of COVID, a lot of people either lost their jobs, had to quit to stay home and take care of their children, so a lot of families have been unable to pay rent over the last year," said United Way fellow Emma Healy.
United Way helped residents apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, which will cover up to 12 months of missed rent, three months of future rent as well as utilities.
ERAP is free money from the state, but to qualify, Healy said applicants need to make under 80% of the area's median income and they need to have been impacted by the pandemic in some way.
In Mount Vernon, that means applicants need to make less than $70,000 for a four-person household.
"It's an important part that it's not just the tenants who are eligible for this assistance. The landlords can come out and apply on behalf of their tenants that they know are in eviction proceedings," Patternson-Howard said.
While there isn't necessarily a deadline to apply for ERAP, the state has limited money and families it can help so those who need assistance are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
To apply for Emergency Rental Assistance, you can call United Way at 211.