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Struggling? NYS may be able to help with your rent or mortgage

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The New York State Office for Homes and Community Renewal extended the application deadline for the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program through this Thursday (August 6).

Residents in need can request for help with paying their rent by filling out a form at

State legislators established this program to help households experiencing an increase in their “rent burden” due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis, or the amount of monthly contractual rent that exceeds 30% of gross household income.

Rental assistance subsidies cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the period the household is applying for assistance.

Awards are limited to cover an increase in rent burden during April, May, June and July, and there is a cap on the total subsidy amount residents can receive.

HCR will prioritize households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.

To qualify for COVID Rent Relief Assistance, an applicant must meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a renter with a primary residence in New York State.
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must be below 80% Area Median Income (To view AMI by county and household size, click here)
    a) Families with extremely low income will prioritized;
    b. Income includes unemployment insurance payments/PUA.
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household must pay more than 30% of gross monthly income for rent.
  • Applicants have less monthly income in any month between April 2020 and July 2020 than they did prior to March 1, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more detailed information on the Rent Relief Program and additional eligibility criteria, visit HCR’s website

Meanwhile, homeowners who may be struggling with foreclosure may be able to find help through the state’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP).

Attorney General Letitia James recently announced a $10 million grant as part of a total $20 million to support the program, which connects homeowners to free, qualified mortgage-assistance relief services across New York.

According to FHFA’s 2020 first-quarter report on foreclosure prevention actions, just over 170,000 homeowners asked for a forbearance on their payments, compared to around 7,000 that were filed in the last quarter of 2019.

HOPP funding supports a network of more than 80 housing counselors and legal service organizations that have helped more than 100,000 families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes.

“Owning a home is a staple of the American Dream,” said Attorney General James. “During these uncertain times, the need for assistance and guidance to get homeowners back on track is evident and urgent. My office is committed to protecting homeownership and ensuring that all New Yorkers have a safe and decent home.”

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