Isaac Scher


The coronavirus pandemic has thrust millions of New Yorkers into economic precarity since the outbreak began. 

Are you one of them? You may be eligible for the COVID Rent Relief Program, a statewide aid effort unveiled in mid-July that will give a one-time subsidy to applicants’ landlords for up to four months of rent. The subsidy can cover back rent, future rent, a security deposit, or some of each. 

Here’s how to apply by the July 30 deadline.

 Find out if you are eligible for the program. 

Applicants must fufill all of the following criteria: 

» You must be a renter in New York.

» You have lost income between April 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020.

» You have spent more than 30% of their monthly income on rent before March 1.

» You earn less than 80% of the area median income in their county (a list of eligible incomes for each county, published by the state government, is available here).

» You must be in a household with one US citizen or person with an eligible immigration status. See here for a list of eligible immigration statuses, published by the state government. 

Renters who live in public housing or receive Section 8 are not eligible for the program.

 Gather your application materials.

The program will pay out a one-time subsidy directly to the landlord, and the landlord must themselves complete paperwork and agree to the terms of the program before an application can be approved. 

For these reasons, it behooves applicants to quickly alert a landlord about their intention to apply. 

Applicants must submit the following documents: 

» A government-issued proof of identification.

» A copy of their lease, with the rental amount listed, or another document showing the same.

» Proof of every household member’s income prior to March 1 and since. (This could include paystubs, employer letters, or federal or state tax returns).

 Submit your application. 

Applicants must submit their applications in English here

Applicants can also submit their applications here in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean, or Bengali. 

Applicants should not be concerned about applying in the eleventh hour, because the program will assess applicants based on their needs.  

“The Covid Rent Relief Program is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period,” the statewide Homes and Community Renewal Agency said

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

If you’re someone who lives in North Brooklyn and has applied for rent relief with success of failure, we want to hear from you! Email [email protected] and tell us about your experience as we continue to deal with the economic hardship of coronavirus in NY we want to hear from our readers and the experiences that they have dealing with local and city governement. 

For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.

Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber.

Cover image courtesy of Josh McCann on Unsplash