For over a year, I’ve advocated for mom-and-pop landlord small businesses that have been financially devastated by Governor Cuomo’s eviction moratorium policies. After months of the Governor’s denial, delay, and indifference, I’m pleased that my advocacy successfully pushed the administration to FINALLY announce a new, streamlined application process for New York's rent relief program and eliminate potential barriers for eligible individuals to be receiving funding.
The improved process will immediately relax documentation standards for both tenants and landlords, and implement a streamlined process for submission of arrears documentation for multi-tenant landlords as I’ve called for! It’s expected that the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will be able to establish a number of viable applications out of the total of over 150,000 submitted by August 7. That’s still incredibly late but it is an improvement.
This is a good start and an important victory, but MUCH more work remains. I’ve heard from so many mom-and-pop landlord small businesses who’ve shared that they haven’t been paid rent for 17 months! These small businesses are struggling and need help NOW! We need to ensure that the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is getting real relief to the folks who need it and ensure that the many errors that I identified with OTDA’s online portal gets fixed ASAP.