It’s not yet clear when the state’s latest COVID-19 rent relief program will open to applicants, though officials are expecting it to launch by the end of May. In the meantime, tenant advocates and housing rights groups are gearing up to help thousands of renters compile and submit the forms necessary to apply for the assistance.
While housing advocates say the budget deal included a major victory for tenants––creating a multi-billion dollar program for rent relief––it included less funds for NYCHA and homelessness prevention than stakeholders had hoped for.
‘Our work here reduces healthcare disparities by providing care to under-resourced communities, but our centers can only operate if we receive necessary funding. As our city continues to confront issues of racism in health care and other aspects of our lives, a pandemic budget cut will cause irreparable harm to those who need the most help.’
‘Our state leaders were handed an incredible opportunity to confront an unprecedented global health crisis that has hit New Yorkers hard. We are calling on them not to squander it but to help us all return to a new New York. They can use the federal funds to cancel rent. They can house all our homeless neighbors.’
‘With my savings gone and just working one day a week, I’m standing in food pantry lines for hours just to get enough to eat. I have to constantly borrow money because I am afraid that if I do not pay my rent, I could lose my home. Each day I worry, how will I ever be able to pay back the money I owe?’
‘At Alliance and community health centers across New York, we use these savings to fund otherwise uncompensated care, ensuring that low-income New Yorkers have consistent access to life-saving medications and treatment adherence support.’
‘During the height of the pandemic, there was an 82 percent decline in Early Intervention referrals compared to prior years, meaning that an estimated 3,000-6,000 young children in New York City with potential disabilities were never even assessed.’
‘Our state and federal governments have a moral responsibility to go beyond emergency measures and implement systemic, long-term solutions that will direct more public resources to preventing eviction and homelessness.’
‘It is time for New York to act like the economic powerhouse that it is. Right here and right now, we can generate the recurring revenue we need to create an economy that enables working families to flourish by ensuring that the ultrawealthy pay their fair share.’