Senator Helming Statement on Governor’s Rent Relief Program Announcement

Senator Pam Helming, ranking member of the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee, issued the following statement:

“I hope this announcement from the Governor’s office will finally expedite the distribution of rental assistance funds. As the Governor said, landlords and tenants need this funding now. They also needed it yesterday. And last year, when New York received its first $100 million from the federal government and distributed only $41 million. 

I am also pleased to see that Senator Kavanagh, chair and my colleague on the Senate Housing Committee, recently acknowledged in an interview with the New York Times that one reason for the program’s slow start was because Senate Democrats insisted on including it in the budget. I agree, and that is why I and my Republican colleagues advocated so strongly to separate it from the budget process. 

I again urge the Senate Majority to deliver Senate bill S.6481 to the Governor, which I co-sponsored, so we can earmark the $100 million in state funds in the ERAP program to mom-and-pop property owners whose tenants vacated their units while owing rent.

We must also continue to prepare for the efficient reopening of local housing courts as the state’s eviction moratorium ends on August 31. After leading two roundtables on this issue, I am now compiling recommendations from participating experts to New York’s Office of Court Administration.

As always, I stand ready to work with my colleagues on the Senate Housing Committee to ensure New York State does a much better job to support landlords and tenants.”

Link to Senator Helming’s most recent news release: