New state program aims to help landlords and tenants

Around New York State

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–The eviction moratorium has been a shield for tenants during the pandemic, but on September 1 the shield will go away. That’s why local leaders are asking people to apply for relief.

Western New Yorkers struggling to pay rent each month can now get help. The state is offering funding through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Households with an income at or below 80 percent the area median income can get 12 months of their rent and utilities covered.

“It’s being done in such a way if there are other needs that are acquired by families who are suffering over this past year, year and a half, there are other programs that will also connect other individuals with. The big message now is to make sure you are applying, said Brendan Mehaffy from the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning.

This assistance will also benefit landlords who might not be receiving payment from tenants.
For the past year, landlords were not allowed to evict tenants who weren’t paying rent for any reason under the state’s eviction moratorium. That comes to an end on August 31.


“Because the landlord provides bank information the money will be routed directly to the landlord’s checking and savings account so they don’t have to worry about tracking the tenant down to get that money, said attorney Justin Friedman.

Officials have set aside two-point-seven billion dollars for this program that will be allocated statewide

“It’s a case by case basis and payment is not guaranteed so I would say get the ball rolling with this and landlords should start communicating with their tenants to get the necessary documentation and get these applications in,” Friedman said.


The application for this program opened Tuesday. Again because there is only a certain amount of funds set aside, officials are urging people to apply sooner than later. To apply, click here.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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