Democrat & Chronicle: NY Opens Up $125M for Landlords Whose Tenants Left Without Paying Rent

Originally published in The Democrat and Chronicle

New York obligated over $1.6 billion in federal rent relief funding as of Sept. 22, according to the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Getty Images/iStockphoto

New York landlords can apply for $125 million in state funding to cover unpaid rent connected to tenants who were ineligible for the federally funded rent relief program, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office. 

The funding, which landlords can apply for starting Thursday, could cover up to 12 months of past-due rent. It’s available to help those who couldn't utilize the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in New York because their tenants declined to complete an application or vacated their residence without paying all rent payments. 

Priority will be given to those landlords owning small-to-medium-sized properties — that is, buildings with 20 or fewer units — and those who apply within 45 days of the program’s application launch. 

“I am proud that our state's rental assistance program has already provided much needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help,” Hochul said in a statement Thursday. “This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic."

Eligible landlords must own units leased at or below 150% of fair market rent for their location, and must have documented the rental arrears owed after March 1, 2020 by a tenant who either vacated a unit or is declining to participate in the broader rent relief program.

“It's especially important that property owners whose tenants may have left their apartments after months of not being able to pay their rent will now be eligible for payments, ensuring that unpaid rent debts from this period will not continue to burden either the landlord or the tenant,” said Sen. Brian Kavanagh, D-Manhattan, who has led many of the rent relief efforts in the state Legislature. 

To apply, landlords should visit for the application and more information. 

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program has so far distributed or obligated $1.8 billion in assistance to New York landlords on behalf of tenants since its launch on June 1. Last month, Hochul sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department requesting more federal funding as applications continue to arrive and the original allotted amount of $2.6 billion runs low. 

Because the program got off to a slow start, Hochul and state lawmakers extended the state’s eviction moratorium to Jan. 15, 2022, to allow more relief to reach the intended recipients. 

Sarah Taddeo is an enterprise reporter for USA Today Network's New York State Team. Got a story tip or comment? Contact Sarah at or (585) 258-2774. Follow her on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.