Governor Hochul announces $ 25 million to provide free legal assistance to troubled tenants
Federal funding to provide legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of eviction in areas where free legal services are limited
Expands access to free, state-funded legal services for tenants in 57 counties outside New York
New requests for emergency rent assistance will be suspended Sunday evening in most parts of the state
On Friday, November 12, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $ 25 million in federal funding would be used to provide free legal assistance to low-income tenants facing eviction in areas of the state outside the city of New York where access to free legal aid is not available to meet the needs of these tenants. Legal aid aims to help tenants and landlords resolve rent disputes and maintain the stability of tenants’ housing. The winners of this funding will be announced on Monday.
âThe pandemic has shown us that every New Yorker deserves the stability of a home,â Governor Hochul said. âThis vital funding will help troubled tenants access free legal assistance they can count on to reach a resolution with their landlord and avoid the potential for eviction proceedings. We will continue to press for additional federal funding for the Emergency Rent Assistance Program to provide relief to tenants. “
Earlier, Governor Hochul announced that New York State has officially requested $ 996 million in additional federal funding from the US Department of the Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The request for these funds would cover projected needs over the next four months, based on previously submitted applications, as well as a portion of the projected needs of tenants living in state-subsidized housing.
New York State recently surpassed $ 1 billion in direct homeowner payments and is now fully committed to its $ 2.4 billion in funding – less than six months after claims were first taken on. Applications will continue to be accepted until Sunday November 14 until 10 p.m. County, County of Nassau (excluding Towns of Hempstead or Oyster Bay), County of Niagara, County of Oneida, County of Saratoga, County of Suffolk (excluding Towns of Brookhaven or Islip), Westchester County (excluding the Town of Yonkers).
Under the law, $ 25 million in federal funding has been set aside to provide legal services to tenants facing eviction proceedings and to help them maintain housing stability in areas of the state where l Access to free legal assistance for such services is not readily available. New York City residents already have access to free legal representation in housing court to avoid eviction.
Barbara C. Guinn, executive deputy commissioner of the State Office for Temporary Assistance and Persons with Disabilities, which administers the legal aid grants, said: The state continues to struggle to pay rent arrears accumulated during the pandemic. This assistance will help individuals and families work with their landlords to help them maintain stable housing. I commend Governor Hochul for taking steps to help tenants and landlords resolve disputes and avoid evictions.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, âHomeowners and tenants will benefit from these additional federal resources deployed by Governor Hochul for areas outside of New York City. Free legal assistance to eligible tenants who are at risk of eviction will help avoid potential crises. At the end of the eviction moratorium, we will need all the tools available to strengthen the work of our community partners to help landlords and tenants. “
New York State is among the leaders in payments made or incurred, according to the National Coalition for Low Income Housing, which tracks the state-by-state implementation of the ERAP.