Senator Biaggi’s 12/4 COVID-19 Update!

December 04, 2020

Dear Community,

As a reminder, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out of state travel here.

This week New York State launched a new PSA highlighting the dangers of COVID-19 "living room spread." According to New York's latest contact tracing data, 70% of new COVID-19 cases originate from households and small gatherings. As the number of new cases continues to grow nationwide, the PSA encourages New Yorkers to avoid gatherings to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Watch the “Living Room Spread” PSA here.

Governor Cuomo announced this week that New York State will receive an initial delivery of enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for 170,000 New Yorkers. If all safety and efficacy approvals are granted by the federal government, the state expects to receive the vaccines — which were created by Pfizer — on December 15th. New York State expects additional allocations of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna later this month. Once New York’s independent Clinical Advisory Task Force has advised that the vaccines are safe and effective, the vaccine will be distributed and administered throughout New York State. 

Governor Cuomo announced that nursing home residents and staff will be the first population to receive the vaccines in New York.

This week the Governor also announced New York's plan for combating COVID-19 this winter. Over the past week, Governor Cuomo and the state's COVID Task Force worked in consultation with global public health experts, local governments and other stakeholders to build this plan in anticipation and preparation for an expected increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations over the Holiday season. 

The winter plan consists of five targeted strategies – which can be viewed in full here –  focused on mitigating the spread of the virus and bolstering New York State hospital preparedness, including:

  • Continue and Strengthen New York's Targeted Micro-Cluster Strategy while Managing Hospital Capacity to Enhance and Equalize Care
  • Increase and Balance Testing Resources and Availability;
  • Keep Schools Open Safely;
  • Prevent Viral Spread from Small Gatherings; and
  • Operationalize an Equitable and Safe Vaccination Program

New York State is partnering with Prescryptive Health to provide expanded COVID-19 testing capacity across New York State. The partnership will help expand testing capacity in areas where testing access is limited and will include 150 new rapid testing locations statewide opening in the coming weeks where testing will be offered. Prescryptive's digital health platform will manage deployment of rapid test kits provided by New York State, and provide the technology to manage inventory, schedule appointments and report results in a timely manner. All testing sites will be searchable on the state's COVID test site website and appointments for these sites will be also available at www.prescryptive.com

Additionally, the Governor announced that he will be signing an executive order to expand eligibility for New York State's COVID Rent Relief Program and reopen its application window. The program, which was created under the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020, appropriated up to $100 million from the federal CARES Act to provide subsidies for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. Based on the program’s parameters, as much as $40 million is expected to be paid to eligible applicants, approximately 15,000 New York households. The Governor’s executive order will expand the program's eligibility so more New Yorkers can qualify for the program rent. The Governor will announce additional details in the coming days.

As a reminder, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced that NYC public school buildings will reopen for in-person instruction for Grades 3K, PreK, and Grades K–5 beginning December 7th, and for students in all grade levels in District 75 beginning December 10thMiddle and High Schools will remain fully remote until further notice. View the full guidance hereThis guidance only applies to students currently enrolled in blended learning, who have already chosen to learn in the school building part of the week, and from home the rest of the week. Students who chose fully remote learning prior to building closures will continue to learn remotely full time.

*In order for your child to return to in-person learning, any student in Grade 1 or higher must submit a consent form for COVID-19 testing in school by their first day back in school buildings. Families can fill out the form using their NYC Schools account, by visiting mystudent.nyc.

This week, Mayor de Blasio announced the creation of the Pandemic Response Institute (PRI), a facility dedicated to preparing New York City and other jurisdictions for future health emergencies and epidemics. PRI will advance research, training, and innovation on outbreak detection, investigation, and management. Specifically, it will focus on the following areas:

  • Building new technologies and systems that detect, track and monitor health issues, particularly those that signal vulnerabilities to disease outbreaks.
  • Advancing research on cutting-edge diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as the latest science on outbreak modeling.
  • Training public health, business, and community leaders in all aspects of pandemic prevention and management, and the roles that they each can play in future health emergencies.
  • Piloting new community-based partnership models that build local-level health infrastructure, improve emergency preparedness, and advance health outcomes across all communities.

Additionally, Mayor de Blasio, the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Enterprises (M/WBE), announced the launch of Employee Ownership NYC, the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers.

The rapid response hotline, Owner to Owners, will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages: English, Spanish, Chinese-Mandarin, Russian, Haitian Creole, Korean, Vietnamese, Urdu, Bengali, and Arabic.

Reminder that parts of the Bronx – including portions of District 34 in the West, East and South Bronx – have been designated as a “precautionary yellow zone” under New York State’s COVID-19 Micro-Cluster StrategyClick here and here for maps of the designated zones. To learn if your home, business, or place of work resides within a designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones. You can review the restrictions under the yellow zone designation here.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Governor’s Executive Order on Eviction Petitions for Nonpayment of Rent: On November 3rd, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring that tenants who have been served with nonpayment eviction petitions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic file answers to their petitions with the Housing Court within a specified time. 

    • Under the Executive Order, tenants who have received eviction petitions for nonpayment of rent between June 22nd, 2020 (the date when the NYC Housing Court began accepting new eviction cases after partial closure in March) and November 3rd, 2020 have an extended 60-day time period to file an answer. 
    • The Governor’s Order does not address time to answer for tenants against whom a nonpayment petition is filed after November 3rd. Tenants can find updated information about how to answer a petition, on the NYC Housing Court’s website.
  • Update on Residential Evictions Proceedings: Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order at the end of September that temporarily expands the pool of tenants who qualify for the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA). 
    • Signed in June, the TSHA blocks evictions for unpaid rent accrued between March 7th and the end of New York's state of emergency, so long as a tenant can prove to a judge that they have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. 
    • The Governor’s order modifies the statute to allow tenants who faced eviction for nonpayment of rent prior to March 7th to raise the hardship defense permitted by the TSHA as well. If the court finds that they qualify, the tenant cannot be evicted until after January 1st, 2020 at the earliest. The Executive Order does not prevent eviction matters from proceeding up to the point of enforcement. 
    • In a memo issued on October 9th, Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks stated that residential evictions – including those for non-payment of rent and for breaking lease terms – can go forward, but the proceedings are expected to take longer than usual due to COVID measures. 
    • If you have questions as to how this order will impact you or your case, I recommend reaching out to the Legal Aid Society at 718-991-4600 for consultation. 
  • NYCHA's Blueprint for Change, Draft Transformation Plan: NYCHA’s draft Transformation Plan outlines organizational reforms that the Authority will undertake to create a culture of service, empower our staff, and break down silos; enable data-driven decision making; and improve our partnerships with residents, community-based organizations, vendors, elected officials, and others. NYCHA is seeking public comments on the draft Transformation Plan. Please provide your comments by December 28th, 2020 here.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call 718-935-5100 and press 5 to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29th, 2020. Learn more here.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Westchester Impact100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: The Design Corps Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is a part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost to you, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist in technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.
  • Coursera Workforce Training Platform: The new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information.
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Public Charge Rule: On November 3rd, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the Illinois court's decision to vacate the US Department of Homeland Security”s public charge rule, meaning that effective November 3rd, the public charge rule IS in effect while the case is being litigated. The Seventh Circuit will be deciding whether or not to keep the stay in place while the Trump Administration's appeal of the district court's decision is litigated. For questions about how this ruling could affect your immigration or benefits status, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov.
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect, and will be suspended on December 8th.

_____________________________________

PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE NOVEMBER 20TH

Dear Community,

As a reminder, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out of state travel here.

This week the Governor announced that parts of the Bronx – including portions of District 34 in the West, East and South Bronx – have been designated as a “precautionary yellow zone” under New York State’s COVID-19 Micro-Cluster StrategyClick here and here for maps of the designated zone. To learn if your home, business, or place of work resides within the designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones.

The precautionary yellow zone designation means that the geographic area has a 7-day rolling average positivity rate above 2.5% for 10 days, and has 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on a 7-day average. Restrictions under the yellow zone designation, in addition to current statewide restrictions, include:

  • Non-residential gatherings are limited to 25 people, indoors and outdoors 
  • Residential gatherings are limited to 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors
  • Houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity
  • Indoor and outdoor dining is permitted, but limited to 4 persons per table

As a reminder, this week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced that all NYC public school buildings are closed as of November 19th, 2020, until further notice. All students will learn remotely 5 days a week. This decision was made based on the previously established standard that schools will close if the percent of COVID positive tests in New York City is equal to or greater than 3% using a 7-day rolling average. This week the Mayor announced that New York City has met that threshold.

On November 16th, Governor Cuomo announced a new web application that will help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them during their time of need. The "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.

The Governor Cuomo also announced this week the launch of a new online training platform which will enable unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers weathering the COVID-19 pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers at no cost. The new tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and CourseraNew Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website

The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.

On November 2nd, the Northern District of Illinois vacated the US Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule nationwide on administrative procedure grounds effective immediately. This meant that the Trump Administration could not apply the public charge rule anywhere in the U.S. effective November 2nd. However, on November 3rd, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the Illinois court's decision, meaning that effective November 3rd, the public charge rule IS in effect while the case is being litigated. The Seventh Circuit will be deciding whether or not to keep the stay in place while the Trump Administration's appeal of the district court's decision is litigated.

For questions about how this ruling could affect your immigration or benefits status, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Governor’s Executive Order on Eviction Petitions for Nonpayment of Rent: On November 3rd, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring that tenants who have been served with nonpayment eviction petitions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic file answers to their petitions with the Housing Court within a specified time. 

    • Under the Executive Order, tenants who have received eviction petitions for nonpayment of rent between June 22nd, 2020 (the date when the NYC Housing Court began accepting new eviction cases after partial closure in March) and November 3rd, 2020 have an extended 60-day time period to file an answer. 
    • The Governor’s Order does not address time to answer for tenants against whom a nonpayment petition is filed after November 3rd. Tenants can find updated information about how to answer a petition, on the NYC Housing Court’s website.
  • Update on Residential Evictions Proceedings: Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order at the end of September that temporarily expands the pool of tenants who qualify for the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA). 
    • Signed in June, the TSHA blocks evictions for unpaid rent accrued between March 7th and the end of New York's state of emergency, so long as a tenant can prove to a judge that they have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. 
    • The Governor’s order modifies the statute to allow tenants who faced eviction for nonpayment of rent prior to March 7th to raise the hardship defense permitted by the TSHA as well. If the court finds that they qualify, the tenant cannot be evicted until after January 1st, 2020 at the earliest. The Executive Order does not prevent eviction matters from proceeding up to the point of enforcement. 
    • In a memo issued on October 9th, Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks stated that residential evictions – including those for non-payment of rent and for breaking lease terms – can go forward, but the proceedings are expected to take longer than usual due to COVID measures. 
    • If you have questions as to how this order will impact you or your case, I recommend reaching out to the Legal Aid Society at 718-991-4600 for consultation. 
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call 718-935-5100 and press 5 to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29th, 2020. Learn more here.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect, and will be suspended on November 26th in observance of Thanksgiving.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

PREVIOUS COVID UPDATE FROM NOVEMBER 13TH, 2020

Dear Community,

As we approach the holiday season and winter months, I want to make clear how important it is to continue following COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols. We are currently experiencing a nationwide surge in COVID cases, as the United States has reported more than 100,000 new COVID cases per day in the last week. While New York's COVID positivity rate remains one of the lowest in the nation, we are still experiencing a surge in both new cases and COVID hospital admissions, signaling that we are not immune to the possibility of a serious second wave.

As I noted earlier this week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new restrictions that will go into effect today (Friday), November 13th, at 10PM.

The new restrictions include:

  • Bars, restaurants, and any establishment with a state liquor license will be required to close in-person service from 10PM to 5AM daily. Restaurants can continue to provide food-only pick-up or delivery after 10PM, but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go.
  • Gyms and fitness centers must close daily from 10PM to 5AM. 
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences must be limited to no more than 10 people.

According to the Governor’s office, local governments will be responsible for enforcing these new restrictions.

While I urge you to remain calm, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over yet – our communities must continue to take the necessary precautions to keep flattening the curve. This includes wearing a mask outside of your home, maintaining six feet apart from others, frequently washing your hands, staying home if you are sick, and following New York State travel and quarantine guidelines. I also encourage you to keep utilizing the free COVID diagnostic and antibody testing sites in District 34, which can be located using this map.  

With a new federal administration on its way and encouraging developments regarding a potential vaccine, I have hope for the future of our national pandemic strategy. That being said, the actions we take in the immediate months will be crucial to preventing the loss of more life, and it will be up to every single one of us to do our part in keeping our neighbors and loved ones safe.

Our community has flattened the curve before, which is why I am confident we can do it again and sustain that progress.  

Thank you for continuing to take care of one another – stay vigilant

 

As a reminder, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out of state travel here.

Using the COVID-19 Micro-Cluster Strategy, New York State continues to issue rules and restrictions to directly target hot-spot areas with the highest transmission of COVID-19 cases and surrounding communities. As of November 12th, there is currently one cluster zone in Westchester County, located in Port Chester, where there is a 7-day average positivity rate of over 3% for 10 days, meeting the metrics for an orange warning zone declaration. Learn more here.

This week the Governor announced cashless tolling will go live on the New York State Thruway's ticketed system during the overnight hours of Friday, November 13th, into Saturday, November 14th. The conversion will take place simultaneously at 58 tolling locations across the Thruway's 450-mile ticketed system. The ticketed system is the final section of the Thruway to be converted to cashless tolling, meeting a goal Governor Cuomo set in his 2018 State of the State address. The official switch will take place in the overnight hours to limit impact to traffic. At the time cashless tolling goes live, cash will no longer be accepted as a form of payment at toll booths and printed toll tickets will not be handed out. To support this transition, NY E-ZPass has released a new TollsNY mobile app to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at Thruway, MTA, and Port Authority tolling sites.

This week, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) released an updated COVID-19 data page, which presents more detailed and timely information about COVID-19 in New York City. The site is organized into new sections designed to answer important questions for the current phase of the pandemic, including:

  • Latest Data, which will include daily updates by ZIP code; 
  • Trends, which focus on important surveillance metrics over time; and 
  • Totals, which shows the cumulative data since March and provides information on how the pandemic has affected people differently based on their location and demographic groups. 

This week the DOHMH also released its latest Childhood Blood Lead Level Surveillance Quarterly Report (PDF) covering the first and second quarters of 2020, from January to June. The number of children with elevated blood lead levels in the first and second quarters of the year went from 2,007 in 2019 to 1,346 in 2020. 

For the first time in the City’s history, Mayor de Blasio announced this week that new Mental Health Teams of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) health professionals and mental health crisis workers will be dispatched through 911 to respond to mental health emergencies in two high-need communities. New Mental Health Teams of health professionals and crisis workers from FDNY Emergency Medical Services will be the default response to mental health emergencies in two high-need precincts.

Beginning in February 2021, new Mental Health Teams will use their physical and mental health expertise, and training in crisis response to de-escalate emergency situations. This will help reduce the number of times police will need to respond to 911 mental health calls in these precincts. These teams will have the expertise to respond to a range of behavioral health problems, such as suicide attempts, substance misuse, and serious mental illness, as well as physical health problems, which can be exacerbated by or mask mental health problems. NYC Health + Hospitals will train and provide ongoing technical assistance and support. In selecting team members for this program, FDNY will prioritize professionals with significant experience with mental health crises.

This week, a NYC Commissioner of Health Order was issued requiring all NYC nonpublic and charters not co-located in a NYC Department of Education school to adhere to additional COVID-19 risk-reduction measures. The Order goes into effect immediately. These measures are summarized below: 

  • All individuals on non-public and charter school premises must remain at least 6 feet apart to the greatest extent possible, except in emergencies or when doing so would create a safety hazard, or when physical barriers are put in place between individuals in accordance with the State Guidance for Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools; 
  • All individuals must wear a face covering on non-public and charter school premises at all times, and during all off-site non-public and charter school activities, except: when individuals cannot wear a face covering because of developmental, medical, or age reasons; during snacks or meals when eating or drinking; during scheduled face covering breaks consistent with guidance issued by the Department; and during nap times;  
  • All non-public and charter schools must coordinate with the Department and the Test and Trace Corps to identify, isolate, and prevent the spread of COVID 19; and 
  • All non-public and charter schools must report every case of COVID-19 to the Department by calling 866-692-3641 and cooperate with the Department regarding closing and opening of classrooms or schools as the Department determines necessary to prevent the spread of COVID 19. 

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Update on Residential Evictions Proceedings: Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order at the end of September that temporarily expands the pool of tenants who qualify for the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA). 

    • Signed in June, the TSHA blocks evictions for unpaid rent accrued between March 7th and the end of New York's state of emergency, so long as a tenant can prove to a judge that they have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. 
    • The Governor’s order modifies the statute to allow tenants who faced eviction for nonpayment of rent prior to March 7th to raise the hardship defense permitted by the TSHA as well. If the court finds that they qualify, the tenant cannot be evicted until after January 1st, 2020 at the earliest. The Executive Order does not prevent eviction matters from proceeding up to the point of enforcement. 
    • In a memo issued on October 9th, Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks stated that residential evictions – including those for non-payment of rent and for breaking lease terms – can go forward, but the proceedings are expected to take longer than usual due to COVID measures. 
    • If you have questions as to how this order will impact you or your case, I recommend reaching out to the Legal Aid Society at 718-991-4600 for consultation. 
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE Opt Into In-Person Learning Sign Up: Between November 2nd and November 15th, 2020, families who previously chose remote only learning will be able to opt into blended/in-person learning for the remainder of this school year using this formAt any time, you can use this form to choose fully remote learning for your child.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • Learning Bridges is a new NYC program that will provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges.
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29th, 2020. Learn more here.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Empire State Digital Initiative: The State announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses' ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy. The partners selected by Empire State Development to participate will offer specialized solutions such as education, free resources, marketing support, and discounted pricing that is unique to the needs of New York's small businesses. Options can be reviewed on Empire State Digital's website which includes additional services available to small businesses from Empire State Development's statewide resource partners, including hands-on assistance, training and counseling.
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals Farmers Markets: NYC Health + Hospitals announced its 2020 schedule for farmers markets hosted at public hospitals and community health centers across the city. The District 34 farmer's market is located at Jacobi Hospital, 1400 Pelham Parkway South at Eastchester Road. The market will be open on Fridays, 8AM – 4PM, through November 19th, 2020.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub summer service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 7:30AM to 1:30PM, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect, and will be suspended on November 14th in observance of Diwali.

____________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM NOVEMBER 6TH

Dear Community, 

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The new protocol is effective as of Wednesday, November 4th.   

For any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting the contiguous states, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are as follows:

  • For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:
    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
    • However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

Local health departments will validate tests, if necessary, and if a test comes back positive, will issue isolation orders and initiate contact tracing. The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out the traveler information form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State's robust contact tracing program.

Using the COVID-19 Micro-Cluster Strategy, New York State continues to issue rules and restrictions to directly target hot-spot areas with the highest transmission of COVID-19 cases and surrounding communities. At this time, there are no micro-clusters identified in the Bronx and Westchester counties. Learn more here.

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order at the end of September that temporarily expands the pool of tenants who qualify for the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA). Signed in June, the TSHA blocks evictions for unpaid rent accrued between March 7th and the end of New York's state of emergency, so long as a tenant can prove to a judge that they have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. The Governor’s order modifies the statute to allow tenants who faced eviction for nonpayment of rent prior to March 7th to raise the hardship defense permitted by the TSHA as well. If the court finds that they qualify, the tenant cannot be evicted until after January 1st, 2020 at the earliest. 

The Executive Order does not prevent eviction matters from proceeding up to the point of enforcement. In a memo issued on October 9th, Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks stated that residential evictions – including those for non-payment of rent and for breaking lease terms – can go forward, but the proceedings are expected to take longer than usual due to COVID measures. Per Judge Marks’ guidance, default judgments resumed as of November 3rd, which means that an eviction could proceed if a tenant fails to appear in court. 

If you have questions as to how this order will impact you or your case, I recommend reaching out to the Legal Aid Society at 718-991-4600 for consultation. 

As a reminder, Ski resorts can reopen with 50% indoor capacity starting today, Friday, November 6th. There will be strict health and safety protocols put in place, including masks required at all times, except when eating/drinking or skiing/snowboarding, restricting gondolas and ski lifts to members of the same party, and limiting lessons to no more than 10 people.

This week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution framework. The City will work with New York State to guarantee maximum distribution of a safe, effective, and free vaccine, with an emphasis on communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Over the next two months, the City will engage public health stakeholders and community groups across the city’s hospitals, clinics, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), independent pharmacies, urgent cares, and independent providers to ensure broad and equitable access to a vaccine citywide.

Phase one of distribution will provide a limited number of doses primarily reserved for healthcare personnel, frontline workers, and other vulnerable groups. To prepare for this initial rollout, the City is actively enrolling providers in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Citywide Immunization Registry, focusing first on hospitals and then on FQHCs. Over 2,500 providers are currently reporting to the Registry. Through webinars and meetings, DOHMH will continue to educate providers about vaccine availability, likely priority groups, proper storage, and how to order, receive, administer, allocate, and report on the vaccine.

Phase two of distribution, which could occur as early as 2021, will see more widespread availability for the general public. To meet this increased availability, the City will ensure that there is adequate storage and capacity. The City will continue to recruit and prepare community providers, including FQHCs, pharmacies, urgent care, hospitals, NYC Health + Hospitals, DOHMH COVID-19 testing sites, and community vaccinators. Vaccine uptake will be closely and consistently tracked through the Citywide Immunization Registry, with results reported out to the public on a periodic basis. The City will also monitor for serious, adverse effects and educate providers on how to report on them. Additionally, the City will conduct its own vaccine effectiveness studies and continually follow up with a sample of New Yorkers who receive a vaccine.

As a reminder, last week, New York City announced that it will install WiFi in the individual family units in all DHS shelters for families with children and HRA shelters for domestic violence survivors to ensure that students have access to the tools they need to support remote learning. This initiative will be implemented centrally through the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Companies installing the connectivity at shelter locations are prioritizing those locations with reported connectivity issues. In addition, for those commercial hotel locations where the City is providing temporary shelter while we continue to transition out of commercial hotels, we will be working with hotel shelter providers to add WiFi services to the service agreements with these hotels.

As was reported last week, families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier. 

Inability to access the internet is an issue of economic and education inequality for New York City families. According to the New York City Department of Social Services, most of the 450 homeless shelters in New York City do not provide wifi for residents. That’s why I have introduced legislation to ensure all families living in shelters or temporary housing have access to the internet, to unlock the resources they need. More information in the legislative section below.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the Regents examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE Opt Into In-Person Learning Sign Up: Between November 2nd and November 15th, 2020, families who previously chose remote only learning will be able to opt into blended/in-person learning for the remainder of this school year using this formAt any time, you can use this form to choose fully remote learning for your child.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • Learning Bridges is a new NYC program that will provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges.
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29th, 2020. Learn more here.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Empire State Digital Initiative: The State announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses' ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy. The partners selected by Empire State Development to participate will offer specialized solutions such as education, free resources, marketing support, and discounted pricing that is unique to the needs of New York's small businesses. Options can be reviewed on Empire State Digital's website which includes additional services available to small businesses from Empire State Development's statewide resource partners, including hands-on assistance, training and counseling.
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals Farmers Markets: NYC Health + Hospitals announced its 2020 schedule for farmers markets hosted at public hospitals and community health centers across the city. The District 34 farmer's market is located at Jacobi Hospital, 1400 Pelham Parkway South at Eastchester Road. The market will be open on Fridays, 8AM – 4PM, through November 19th, 2020.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub summer service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 7:30AM to 1:30PM, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect, and will be suspended on November 11th in observance of Veteran's Day.

____________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM OCTOBER 2ND

Dear Community,

There are currently 34 states and territories listed on the New York State COVID-19 travel advisory. All individuals who travel to New York from one of the states or territories on the list with significant community spread are required to quarantine for 14 days. The updated list of restricted states and territories with significant community spread, as well as guidance for quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving in New York, can be found here.

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an Executive Order extending residential eviction protections to a subset of residential tenants who were facing eviction lawsuits before the COVID pandemic hit. The Executive Order does not continue the blanket eviction ban enacted by a court administrative order, which expired on October 1st. 

Absent further clarification from the Governor’s office or the Office of Court Administration, the Executive Order appears to temporarily expand the pool of tenants who qualify for the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA). Signed in June, the TSHA blocks evictions for unpaid rent accrued between March 7th and the end of New York's state of emergency, so long as a tenant can prove to a judge that they have experienced financial hardship. The Governor’s order modifies the statute to allow tenants who faced eviction for nonpayment of rent prior to March 7th to raise the hardship defense permitted by the TSHA as well. If the court finds that they qualify, the tenant cannot be evicted until after January 1st, 2020 at the earliest. 

According to the Governor’s office, this includes all tenants with a pending nonpayment case predating the pandemic, not just those with outstanding warrants and judgments. 

The TSHA does not apply to holdover cases, a broad category that can be brought against tenants who overstay or violate a lease term. It also allows landlords to seek money judgments against tenants.

The Executive Order does not prevent eviction matters from proceeding up to the point of enforcement. Therefore, landlords can still bring their tenants into court and obtain a warrant of eviction enforceable on January 1st, 2021 unless there is another protection issued.

As of October 1st, the Office of Court Administration has not issued its own guidance on the Governor’s order, however intends to provide further clarification. Find all court updates here: nycourts.gov.

If you have questions as to how this order will impact you or your case, I recommend reaching out to the Legal Aid Society at 718-991-4600 for consultation. I want to reemphasize that this order does not provide the relief to tenants or landlords that is desperately needed – I continue to stand in unity with housing advocates across the state in support of issuing meaningful relief through full eviction protections and the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments for struggling New Yorkers.

This week New York State announced the launch of COVID Alert NY – a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

As a reminder, blended learning for all New York City K-12 students has begun. The DOE COVID Response Situation Room has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 

NYC is offering priority COVID testing for students and teachers. To find a site, please click here. There is also a new Test & Trace Hotline for all things Test & Trace; dial 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).

This week Mayor de Blasio announced the City’s popular Open Restaurants program, which has enrolled more than 10,300 establishments since its inception in June, will be extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days.

As of September 30th, New York City restaurants are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with restrictions and rigorous inspection protocols. Learn more about the guidelines from the Governor here and from the New York City Mayor here. Please refer to our small business and worker resources section below for reopening assistance services.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

 

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

 

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

 

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Moratorium on Commercial Evictions and Foreclosures Extended: The Governor has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures until October 20th. 
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

 

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.

    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • Mentoring Matters Programs: The Young Men's Initiative (YMI), in partnership with CUNY and One Hundred Black Men, has new partnerships designed to provide mentoring, academic tutoring and social emotional support to high-need students as they transition into the new blended learning environment during the COVID-19 crisis. The Mentors Matter Initiative has three parts:
    • 100 Black Men and YMI will partner to expand its Junior 100 program to at least 750 black and brown male students this year. The program will provide mentoring and educational enrichment as well as expose students to career opportunities and offer financial scholarships for post-secondary education.
    • Expand CUNY Tutor Corps to offer academic tutoring and near-to-peer mentoring to 3,600 additional DOE students. CUNY students who are within the NYC Men Teach pipeline will be prioritized for this paid tutoring opportunity. These students are all males of color who are succeeding in their college programs.
    • Lastly, YMI will issue $400,000 in grants to local community-based organizations that offer tutoring, mentoring and social emotional support to at least 3,000 students during this difficult time. The application period for the funding opportunity opens September 21st and closes October 5th (2 weeks later). Learn more at NYC.gov/YMI.
  • The NYC Department of Education Office of Sustainability’s Youth Leadership Council is accepting applications from NYC high schoolers for this upcoming school year, 2020-2021. Access the application here.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • Learning Bridges is a new NYC program that will provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges.
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

 

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29th, 2020. Learn more here.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended for another 30 days, through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

 

Small Business and Worker Resources

  • Empire State Digital Initiative: The State announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses' ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy. The partners selected by Empire State Development to participate will offer specialized solutions such as education, free resources, marketing support, and discounted pricing that is unique to the needs of New York's small businesses. Options can be reviewed on Empire State Digital's website which includes additional services available to small businesses from Empire State Development's statewide resource partners, including hands-on assistance, training and counseling.
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • Interim Guidance for NYC Food Manufacturing Facilities or Food Retail Stores: This guidance from New York State is provided for any food manufacturing facilities, food distribution centers or food retail stores so that owners, operators and other individuals can incorporate these procedures into their facility protocols. For information on workers’ rights, click here
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program will be extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

 

Food Updates and Resources

  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals Farmers Markets: NYC Health + Hospitals announced its 2020 schedule for farmers markets hosted at public hospitals and community health centers across the city. The District 34 farmer's market is located at Jacobi Hospital, 1400 Pelham Parkway South at Eastchester Road. The market will be open on Fridays, 8AM – 4PM, through November 19th, 2020.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub summer service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 7:30AM to 1:30PM, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

 

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.

 

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect.

_______________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM SEPTEMBER 25TH

Dear Community,

On September 22nd, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that five states – Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming – have been added to New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. All individuals who travel to New York from one of the states or territories on the list with significant community spread are required to quarantine for 14 days. The updated list of restricted states and territories with significant community spread, as well as guidance for quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving in New York, can be found here.

This week Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will form an independent Clinical Advisory Task Force composed of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, and will advise New York State on the vaccine's safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus. In addition, the Governor established a Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force that is charged with designing a COVID-19 vaccination administration program. The Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force is composed of experts in public health, immunizations, government operations, data and other fields relevant to vaccine distribution and administration. 

This week Mayor de Blasio extended Executive Order 148, which sets limitations on event permits through December 31st, 2020. The Executive Order limits the types of outdoor events permitted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Police Department, and the Street Activity Permit Office in order to minimize crowding, facilitate COVID testing and treatment sites, and to allow for use of streets and parks for recreation, learning, and dining. Read more here.

Next week New York City restaurants will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity starting on September 30th with restrictions and rigorous inspection protocols. Learn more about the guidelines from the Governor here and from the New York City Mayor here. Please refer to our small business and worker resources section below for reopening assistance services.

New York City’s indoor pools will also be allowed to reopen on September 30th, subject to strict occupancy limits at 33% of capacity. Standard Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspections will continue to promote compliance with all New York State regulations. New Yorkers who see crowding or other unsafe conditions in indoor swimming pools are urged to report to 311.

As a reminder, teachers and students began blended learning this week in grades 3-K and Pre-K, as well as all grades in District 75. As remote learning continues, in-person learning for blended learning students will be phased-in across the next two weeks:

  • Tuesday, September 29th: Blended learning students enrolled in K-5 and K-8 schools
  • Thursday, October 1st: Blended learning students enrolled in middle schools, high schools, secondary schools (schools spanning grades 6-12), and transfer schools/adult education

 

NYC is offering priority COVID testing for students and teachers. To find a site, please click here. There is also a new Test & Trace Hotline for all things Test & Trace; dial 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). 

Additionally, this week Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Edward Grayson as the Acting Commissioner of the City of New York Department of Sanitation. Read more here.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

 

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

 

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

 

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Moratorium on Commercial Evictions and Foreclosures Extended: The Governor has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures until October 20th. 
  • Administrative Stay on Eviction Proceedings: Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the suspension of statutes of limitation and court deadlines through September 4th. On Wednesday, August 12th, New York State Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued an administrative order in response, that includes the following:
    • Prohibits the enforcement of any residential eviction until at least October 1st;
    • Requires status or settlement conferences before continuing any residential proceeding filed prior to March 17th (including those where an eviction warrant has already been issued but not executed);
    • Continues the suspension of all eviction proceedings filed on or after March 17th;
    • And allows commercial evictions filed prior to March 17th to proceed (except those covered under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.28, which prohibits the eviction for nonpayment of a commercial tenant facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 through August 19th). Find all court updates here: nycourts.gov
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Filing Annual Rent Registrations: The following is a link to Advisory Opinion 2020-5 “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance”: being directed with respect to processing and other procedures affecting the Office of Rent Administration (ORA) and Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) under The Rent Stabilization Law, The Emergency Tenant Protection Act, and the New York State and City Rent Control Laws. The deadline for filing annual rent registrations has been extended to September 30th, 2020. 
  • Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs (NAICA): NAICA is offering housing services remotely to all existing and new clients. Existing clients should contact their assigned case workers. To receive information about their services and complete an intake please contact them at (718) 538-3344 Ext 100 or 117, or you can call or text (631) 790-6255.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

 

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.

    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • Mentoring Matters Programs: The Young Men's Initiative (YMI), in partnership with CUNY and One Hundred Black Men, has new partnerships designed to provide mentoring, academic tutoring and social emotional support to high-need students as they transition into the new blended learning environment during the COVID-19 crisis. The Mentors Matter Initiative has three parts:
    • 100 Black Men and YMI will partner to expand its Junior 100 program to at least 750 black and brown male students this year. The program will provide mentoring and educational enrichment as well as expose students to career opportunities and offer financial scholarships for post-secondary education.
    • Expand CUNY Tutor Corps to offer academic tutoring and near-to-peer mentoring to 3,600 additional DOE students. CUNY students who are within the NYC Men Teach pipeline will be prioritized for this paid tutoring opportunity. These students are all males of color who are succeeding in their college programs.
    • Lastly, YMI will issue $400,000 in grants to local community-based organizations that offer tutoring, mentoring and social emotional support to at least 3,000 students during this difficult time. The application period for the funding opportunity opens September 21st and closes October 5th (2 weeks later). Learn more at NYC.gov/YMI.
  • The NYC Department of Education Office of Sustainability’s Youth Leadership Council is accepting applications from NYC high schoolers for this upcoming school year, 2020-2021. Access the application here.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • Learning Bridges is a new NYC program that will provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges.
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

 

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Mobile Testing Units in the Bronx TODAY: There will be mobile COVID testing units until 4PM on September 25th at Throgs Neck Senior Center, Sedgwick Houses, and Soundview Park. Click here for more info.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • Healthcare Enrollment Period Extended Through December 31st: The Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through December 31st, 2020. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Click here, call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” to 877-877 to learn more.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

 

Small Business and Worker Resources

  • The Westchester County Office of Economic Development is now accepting applications for the Westchester County Business FIRST grant program. Applications are due September 30th.
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • Federal Stimulus Payments – Economic Impact Payments: The IRS has extended the deadline for individuals and families to register for the stimulus payment as a non-filer through September 30th, 2020. In order to receive Federal Stimulus payments, New Yorkers who have an income of less than $12,200/$24,400 joint must complete a document with the IRS on the IRS “Non-filer” portal. For more information, please visit the IRS website.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • Interim Guidance for NYC Food Manufacturing Facilities or Food Retail Stores: This guidance from New York State is provided for any food manufacturing facilities, food distribution centers or food retail stores so that owners, operators and other individuals can incorporate these procedures into their facility protocols. For information on workers’ rights, click here
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: Mayor de Blasio has extended the City’s Open Restaurants program until the end of October. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Gym Reopenings: Gyms and fitness centers have been permitted to reopen at 33% capacity. Read New York's full guidance on gym reopening here. NYC gyms reopened on September 2nd with restrictions; read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

 

Food Updates and Resources

  • Trinity Church Wall Street Compassion Meals Program: This program provides grab-and-go food bags at ten sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to help address the food insecurity crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, 250 meals with single-serve, non-perishable, and shelf-stable items are delivered, according to the schedule here.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals Farmers Markets: NYC Health + Hospitals announced its 2020 schedule for farmers markets hosted at public hospitals and community health centers across the city. The District 34 farmer's market is located at Jacobi Hospital, 1400 Pelham Parkway South at Eastchester Road. The market will be open on Fridays, 8AM – 4PM, through November 19th, 2020.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub summer service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 7:30AM to 1:30PM, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • SNAP or Cash Assistance Benefits: If your SNAP or Cash Assistance benefits are set to expire on September 30th, you’ll need to recertify online with Access HRA. Go to http://nyc.gov/accesshra or download the mobile app and SkiptheTrip.
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

 

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.

 

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • New Immigration Fees and CUNY Citizenship Now Assistance: On October 2nd, many immigration fees will increase; fees for application for naturalization will increase from $725 to $1170 and naturalization fee waivers will be eliminated. Between now and October 1st, CUNY Citizenship Now will prioritize citizenship cases and case types that are currently eligible for means tested fee waivers. You can contact CUNY Citizenship Now by calling at 646-664-9400 or texting at 929-334-3784.
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • Sponsor An Athlete with Special Olympics New York: Special Olympics New York has launched their Sponsor An Athlete campaign. The goal of this program is to sponsor athletes in the New York region who have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic as they slowly and safely begin to return to the Special Olympics sports and teammates they love. Learn more here.
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • Cooling Resources: To help New Yorkers stay cool this summer, NYC Parks has added new cooling elements within Heat Vulnerability Index 5/4 zones in addition to the 950 existing cooling elements citywide and a new Cool It! NYC map. Also, eight of New York City’s public pools are now open with reduced capacity and additional safety measures, providing New Yorkers with another great way to stay refreshed. As always, attendees of the cooling centers and public pools must wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Click here or call 311 to find a cooling center near you. 
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • Public Pool Reopenings: Eight of New York City’s public pools are now open with reduced capacity and additional safety measures. Click here to find a pool near you and details on what you need to know before you go. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Free and Discounted Cultural Institution Tickets: NYC public school students and their caregivers may receive free and discounted tickets to some of the city’s cultural organizations this week ahead of the official start of school. Read more here.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect.

________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM SEPTEMBER 18TH

Dear Community,

On September 15th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that six states – California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio – have been removed from New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. All individuals who travel to New York from one of the states or territories on the list with significant community spread are required to quarantine for 14 days. The updated list of restricted states and territories with significant community spread, as well as guidance for quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving in New York, can be found here.

Last week the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program benefits are being disbursed, which began September 14th, 2020. The LWA Program is intended to cover a three-week period after the $600-per-week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments ended on July 31st, 2020. Retroactive payments of $300 for the weeks ending August 2nd, August 9th, and August 16th will be available to all UI recipients and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) recipients. Claimants whom DOL has determined have pre-qualified will receive confirmation that no further action is needed. Claimants who need additional certifications will also be contacted with information on how to provide the certification online or by phone.

This week New York City announced the launch of the Pandemic Response Lab (PRL), a facility dedicated to processing COVID-19 tests within 24-48 hours for NYC Health + Hospitals. Based in the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan, the lab is now up and running, and will scale up its capacity to process approximately 20,000 tests per day by November. 

This week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, and CSA President Mark Cannizzaro announced a phased schedule and additional staffing plan to ensure all schools and all educators are best positioned to deliver a strong, safe, and healthy start to the 2020-2021 school year.

Teachers and students this week have been remotely engaging in preparations and orientations for the school year. As remote learning continues, in-person learning for blended learning students will be phased-in across the next two weeks, beginning with:

  • Monday, September 21st: Blended learning students in grades 3-K and Pre-K, as well as all grades in District 75
  • Tuesday, September 29th: Blended learning students enrolled in K-5 and K-8 schools
  • Thursday, October 1st: Blended learning students enrolled in middle schools, high schools, secondary schools (schools spanning grades 6-12), and transfer schools/adult education

All students in full remote programs will continue as planned starting full-day instruction on Monday, September 21st. As students begin in-person learning according to the above timeline, they will do so according to the blended learning schedules their schools have provided them (e.g., coming in person on Tuesday and Wednesday).

Adding to the 2,000 additional teaching staff to be deployed to schools that the Mayor announced on September 14th, the City will also bring on 2,500 additional educators to fulfill staffing needs at 3-K, Pre-K, District 75, K-5 and K-8 schools. These educators will help fill gaps for in-person learning in schools. The DOE is continuing to engage middle and high schools as well to establish their needs for additional staffing, and will announce additional staff capacity for those schools in the coming weeks.

The Mayor also announced the opening of the DOE COVID Response Situation Room – a multi-agency partnership between the Department of Education, Department of Health and Mental Health, and the Test & Trace Corps – to facilitate a rapid response to positive COVID-19 cases in public schools. Read more hereNYC is offering priority COVID testing for students and teachers. To find a site, please click here. There is also a new Test & Trace Hotline for all things Test & Trace; dial 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). 

Mayor de Blasio also announced this week new initiatives to bolster the city’s sanitation and street cleanliness efforts. Read more here.

This week the NYC Health Department announced a citywide campaign to alert New Yorkers that this year's flu vaccine is critical. New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay. 

The NYC Mayor’s office released this week its annual Open Data plan, and shared progress on the Next Decade of Open Data roadmap that it launched in 2019. Over the past year, The City’s Open Data Team, composed of staff from the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), has worked to improve Open Data’s user experience, support the network of Open Data Coordinators at City agencies, and foster connections with members of the public who use Open Data.

As of September 14th, the MTA is issuing a $50 fine to riders who refuse to wear a mask, which is mandatory. The rule applies to the NYC subway system, buses, the Long Island Railroad, and the Metro-North. MTA police officers and the NYPD are enforcing the new rule. Free masks are available to riders. 

As a reminder, registered New York voters can visit the NYS absentee ballot portal to directly request an absentee ballot for the upcoming November 3rd election. Applications to request an absentee ballot are live – if you plan to vote by mail, you should request your ballot as early as possible to ensure you have time to receive and return it. Voters registered in New York City can now track their absentee ballots here through the NYC Board of Elections Absentee Ballot Tracking system. If you have not yet registered to vote, you can do so here

As previously announced, New York City restaurants will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity on September 30th with restrictions and rigorous inspection protocols. Learn more about the guidelines from the Governor here and from the New York City Mayor here. Please refer to our small business and worker resources section below for reopening assistance services.

As a reminder, the NYC annual tax lien sale is postponed until September 25th, 2020. The City will continue its outreach efforts to affected homeowners. Read more here.

Lastly, drop-off composting is back! Funding has been restored to support some food scrap drop-off sites and NYC Compost Project compost facilities! See here for details.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

 

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

 

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

 

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

 

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • Moratorium on Commercial Evictions and Foreclosures: The Governor has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures until September 20th. 
  • Administrative Stay on Eviction Proceedings: Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the suspension of statutes of limitation and court deadlines through September 4th. On Wednesday, August 12th, New York State Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued an administrative order in response, that includes the following:
    • Prohibits the enforcement of any residential eviction until at least October 1st;
    • Requires status or settlement conferences before continuing any residential proceeding filed prior to March 17th (including those where an eviction warrant has already been issued but not executed);
    • Continues the suspension of all eviction proceedings filed on or after March 17th;
    • And allows commercial evictions filed prior to March 17th to proceed (except those covered under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.28, which prohibits the eviction for nonpayment of a commercial tenant facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 through August 19th). Find all court updates here: nycourts.gov
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Filing Annual Rent Registrations: The following is a link to Advisory Opinion 2020-5 “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance”: being directed with respect to processing and other procedures affecting the Office of Rent Administration (ORA) and Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) under The Rent Stabilization Law, The Emergency Tenant Protection Act, and the New York State and City Rent Control Laws. The deadline for filing annual rent registrations has been extended to September 30th, 2020. 
  • Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs (NAICA): NAICA is offering housing services remotely to all existing and new clients. Existing clients should contact their assigned case workers. To receive information about their services and complete an intake please contact them at (718)538-3344 Ext 100 or 117, or you can call or text (631)790-6255.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-