Schumer calls on state to speed up federal rent relief

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NEW YORK – As New York’s eviction moratorium deadline nears on August 31, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the state to release the federal funds he secured for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

In a letter to State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Michael Hein, the former Ulster County executive, Schumer said the funds are intended for “hard-hit tenants, including individuals and families who have lost income, to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs.”

He said the money will also help “many struggling building owners, who are also struggling to overcome COVID-19’s economic challenges.”

On June 1, the state set up the online portal for renters and landlords to apply for funds, but he said as of a July 21 Treasury report, New York is the only state that has not distributed any funds to households.

Following the report, the state did disperse some relief funds, but he said that was a “miniscule amount and not nearly the level or pace to address the profound need the program was established to ameliorate.”