“You think about a $106 billion budget—we’re asking for $400 million with an M,” Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa said at Thursday’s rally. “NYCHA tenants deserve more and we’re going to continue to stand with you until we see a budget that reflects the dignity that you have long deserved.”
While the total won’t be clear until remaining applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) are processed, a majority of the $391 in aid will likely go to the housing authority and other public housing tenants, with $35 million specifically earmarked for NYCHA. Still, thousands of New Yorkers living in public or subsidized housing did not apply for ERAP but continue to struggle with mounting debt.
The rally comes after state lawmakers released budget proposals that include up to $389 million for public housing and Section 8 residents who were left out from the state’s pandemic-era Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). But tenants are pushing for more, pointing to estimates that public housing tenants across New York owe nearly $590 million in rent.
In a budget resolution unveiled last week, the State Senate earmarked $389 million for public housing and Section 8 tenants statewide who applied for, but were left out from, New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The Assembly proposed $385 million for the same purpose.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday that the state had applied for a $996 million reallotment from the Treasury Department and that officials will shut down the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application portal Sunday.
State lawmakers are taking a third pass at amending the rent relief program to reach more people, but some housing advocates – who are calling for the cancellation of rent– have slammed the legislation as putting the burden to getting assistance on tenants’ shoulders.