New York has asked for $ 1 billion for rent relief in the event of a pandemic. It is less and less.
As New York state virtually exhausted its share of a federal pandemic rent relief program in the fall, state officials have asked the federal government for an additional $ 1 billion – money, they said, was needed to keep tens of thousands of struggling residents out of and into their homes.
But the state has now received sobering news: it is expected to receive around $ 27 million, less than 3% of what it asked for.
Another striking illustration of the severity of the economic crisis in New York and elsewhere is the gap between the state’s pointed out need and the money it receives. State and federal officials said the need was high across the country and there was only a limited pot of funds overall.
But without more help, tens of thousands of tenants who lost their jobs during the pandemic will not be able to cover their debts and could be at greater risk of eviction when a moratorium expires in less than two weeks. Owners will not be able to compensate for lost rental income either.
“If we cannot close this shortfall, it will mean that many tenants and their landlords will continue to fight the consequences of decisions made by the government in response to Covid,” said Brian Kavanaugh, a Democrat who sponsored Bill that created the New York Rent Relief Program and is chairman of the State Senate Housing Committee.
The funds are part of a more than $ 46 billion federal program, put in place by Congress through two stimulus bills passed in 2020 and 2021, which distributes aid across the country. New York’s share was around $ 2.4 billion, but by the fall almost all of the state’s money had either been poured or spoken, state officials said. . New York then stopped taking most of the new requests.
There was a chance the state had received more. Under the law, places that had not used a lot of their money could have their funds reallocated to other states with more need. One county in Texas, for example, voted in November to return about $ 7 million to the federal government.
But in an email sent to the state on Thursday, a Treasury Department official said that “the amount of reallocated funds requested” by states like New York and other locations was “far greater than the funding available to distribute. “.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how New York’s share was determined or how much other states may have received.
The amount New York City receives in additional rent relief was reported by Law 360 on Tuesday based on information included in a court document drafted by Barbara C. Guinn, the deputy executive commissioner of the Office of Temporary Help and persons with disabilities, the state agency that is administering New York’s rent relief program.
The document was filed on Monday as part of a lawsuit filed by some tenants and housing groups over the state’s decision to stop supporting requests for rent relief.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state was “disappointed” with the amount it was due, but said the state “would continue to seek all avenues for federal funding that keeps New- Yorkers at home “.