If you’re one of the many New Yorkers struggling to pay rent right now because of Covid-19, you might qualify for the Department of Homes and Community Renewal’s Covid rent relief program. But you need to act fast: Applications are due by July 30th. [Editor's Note: DHCR extended the application deadline to August 6th.]
The program offers a one-time rent subsidy that is sent directly to your landlord—and you don’t have to pay it back. The payment helps make up the difference in rent when you've lost income as a result of the pandemic. You can apply for up to four months of assistance.
To qualify, your household income must be below 80 percent of the area median income, which in NYC is $81,900 for a three-person household and $90,950 for a four-person household. (Is your household a different size? Look up the AMI for your family here.) You also must have been paying at least 30 percent of your gross monthly income towards your rent before March 1st and at time of application. And, your income must be less in any month between April and July than what you earned prior to March 1st specifically due to the pandemic.
The program is not first come, first served. Instead, priority is given to eligible households with the greatest economic and social need based on income, rent burden, percent of income loss, and risk of homelessness. Households are typically considered rent burdened if they pay at least 30 percent of income toward rent.
DHCR has a call center for the program, which is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can reach them at 1-833-499-0318 or [email protected].