Following the recent decision by New York State officials to close the application portal for the State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) while they seek additional federal funding, members of the New York City Eviction Prevention Roundtable and Project Parachute released the following statement:
“It is clear that State officials must reopen the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application portal even as they take necessary steps to secure additional funding from the federal government. The State must continue receiving ERAP applications because the application process provides immediate eviction protections for vulnerable tenants and helps the State continue to identify which tenants still face the greatest challenges. It is especially crucial for the State to keep tracking tenant needs via the application process because New York will need to request more than the additional $996 million in federal rental assistance that State officials are already seeking in order to address the current lack of resources. The money that the State has requested will – at most – only cover those who have already applied.
“However, we recognize that keeping the ERAP application portal open for an extended period without any new federal funding could result in significant new challenges as well for property owners and tenants alike. It is therefore also clear that the federal government must work with Gov. Hochul and her administration to deliver the necessary funding as quickly as possible.
“As this discussion continues, we urge New York City tenants facing pandemic-related rental arrears to enroll in Project Parachute’s FASTEN Program if they are both unable to submit an ERAP application and eligible for FASTEN aid. One of the many reasons that the real estate industry and the non-profit community worked together to launch Project Parachute last year was to provide a stopgap rental assistance measure for vulnerable tenants who may be unable to access government rental assistance. We also urge the State to offer clear guidance for tenants facing rental arrears on the course of action they should take until the portal reopens.”
Eviction Prevention Roundtable and Project Parachute partners that co-signed this statement include:
Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
The Legal Aid Society
Housing Court Answers
New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH)
L&M Development Partners
Enterprise Community Partners
Homeless Services United
Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA)
New York Peace Institute
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens
Supportive Housing Network of New York