Update on $2.4 Billion Dollar Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Michael Littman, Partner

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (“OTDA) has issued a list of documents that will be required from building owners and tenants when they apply. Please note, the application portal is not yet available.

New York is anticipating that applications will be accepted as early as the end of May 2021.

A property owner may submit an application for rental relief on behalf of a tenant. Once the portal is live, owners will need to upload the following documents:

  • Completed W-9 tax form
  • Tenant’s executed lease or, if none, documentation demonstrating the last full monthly rent payment made by tenant
  • Documentation of rent due (rent ledger or attestation on application)
  • Building owner’s banking information for direct deposit of funds

Owners will also be asked to agree to the following terms as a condition of accepting the payment:

  • The payment satisfies the tenant’s full rental obligation for the time period covered by the payment
  • Waive any late fees accrued for the period covered by the payment
  • Not increase the monthly rent above the monthly amount due at the time of application for assistance for months for which rental assistance is received and for one year from receipt payment from the State
  • Not to evict the household on behalf of whom the payment is made for reason of an expired lease or holdover tenancy for one year from the receipt of payment. An exception to this requirement shall be made if the dwelling unit contains four or fewer units and the property owner or owner’s immediate family members intend to immediately occupy the unit for use as a primary residence

Tenants who will apply for rental assistance on their own will need to upload the following documents to the portal once it becomes available:

  • Personal identification for all household members (driver’s license, government issued ID, passport, birth certificate, school registration, EBT/Benefits Issuance Card)
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of rental amount (signed lease even if expired, rent receipt, canceled check, money order or property owner’s attestation)
  • Proof of residency/occupancy (documents must be current)
  • Proof of Income to document income eligibility:
  • Documents demonstrating monthly income for the prior month, such as pay stubs, bank account deposit verification, unemployment benefits letter, or other proof; or;
  • Documents demonstrating annual income for 2020, such as a W-2 tax form from an employer, an annual statement of earnings, or a copy of a completed income tax return (such as a 1040, 1040EZ, 1099 tax form), or other evidence of 2020 annual income.
  • Self-attestation of income is permitted in certain circumstances where no documentation is available such as certain self-employment.

Applicants will be asked to attest that on or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant will need to sign the application form and associated certifications agreeing that the information provided in the application is accurate.

The above details are available on OTDA’s website.

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