New Yorkers having trouble paying their rent due to COVID-19 can apply to have their rent paid for.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep families throughout New York in their homes. The program, which is designed to reach those individuals and families with the greatest need, will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say.

"Since day one we made it clear that no New Yorkers should be thrown on the streets because of hardships caused by this pandemic," Cuomo said. "It's critically important that people are able to stay safely in their homes as we progress through our data-driven, phased reopening, and the COVID Rent Relief Program reinforces that commitment with direct assistance to those in the greatest need."

New Yorkers who hare having trouble paying their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible. If approved, a one-time rental subsidy will be paid to landlords that tenants won't have to pay back.

To qualify for the program, applicants must meet all of the eligibility requirements, according to GovernorsOffice:

  • Must be a renter with a primary residence in New York State.
  • Before March 1, 2020, and at the time of application, household income (including unemployment benefits) must be below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size. Applicants can find the Area Median Income for their county, based on household size
  • Before March 1, 2020, and at the time of application, the household must have been "rent burdened," which is defined as paying more than 30 percent of gross monthly income towards rent.
  • Applicants must have lost income during any period between April 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020.
  • The application period will be open for two weeks. Residents can apply any time during the two-week period.

Officials will prioritize households with the greatest economic and social need, accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness, officials say. The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household's rent burden on March 1, 2020, and the increase in rent burden during the period the household is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance for the months of April through July. The program is open to households that rent apartments, single-family homes, manufactured homes and manufactured home lots.

The program is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act. The program is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. New Yorkers can apply starting on Thursday by CLICKING HERE.

More information about the COVID Rent Relief Program, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available HERE.