Assistance available for tenants and landlords

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In just a couple of months, the eviction moratorium will be coming to an end, but even when it does, there is an assistance program that can help people stay in their homes.

“The emergency rental assistance program, or ERAP, is a program from New York State that is intended to help cover up to 12 months of back rent for tenants that fell behind during COVID-19,” said Danielle Smith, City of Albany Housing Services Advocate.

To be eligible, the tenant needs to prove that they experienced a financial hardship due to the pandemic. Once qualified, money owed will go directly to the landlord. Since not all tenants who owe back rent are applying for ERAP— there is now an option for landlords to receive money.

“The landlord rental assistance program or LRAP is intended to help landlords,” explained Smith. “We have had a lot of landlords whose tenants have moved out and still owed rent, or if they have tenants who have not been able or willing to apply for ERAP thus far.”

One New York landlord said that these programs are flawed. While she applied for LRAP back in October, she has yet to receive a payment. “I don’t know any landlord that has received one dollar from LRAP,” said Elise Zaccaro, a small property owner. “The process is slow. It’s delayed. I’ve called. The system is overwhelmed with applications. It’s small property owners trying to be made whole, or semi-whole after all of the money they’ve been out for the last 20 months.”

The eviction moratorium is set to expire on January 15, meaning that those who have not qualified for ERAP can be evicted.

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