ALBANY, NY –With New Yorkers financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic still desperate for rent relief, Senator Sue Serino this week joined members of the Senate and Assembly at a press conference urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to release the $1.3 billion provided to New York under the Federal CARES Act for this purpose.

“There is simply no reason why this funding should not be getting out the door and into the hands of New Yorkers who need it most,” said Senator Sue Serino. “The government asked New Yorkers to stay home to help keep their communities safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they should not be put at risk now of losing their homes because the government is moving too slowly in releasing this critical relief funding. The state must take steps immediately to ensure these federal dollars are put to work as they were intended—to keep New Yorkers in their homes and out of harm’s way.”

The $1.3 billion was included in the second round of CARES Act relief assistance given to states, which must be specifically distributed to tenants and landlords. To date, the funding has not been released by Governor Cuomo, despite a growing number of families and individuals relying on assistance due to financial hardships caused by the COVID pandemic.

Under federal guidelines, New York is required to use the financial relief by September 30th. Any funds not used in their entirety by that time must be returned to the United States Department of Treasury and would then be reallocated to other states.

Republican members of the Senate and Assembly are specifically calling on the Legislature’s Supermajority to leverage its power to compel the Governor to take action that would give lawmakers the ability to pass an appropriation bill to allow state agencies to distribute this funding directly to New Yorkers in need.