Emergency Rental Assistance available with COVID-19 eviction moratorium expiring

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires Tuesday.

The Monroe County Executive and Mayor of Rochester are reminding people who are facing eviction due to the pandemic to call 211 to be pre-screened for Emergency Rental Assistance Program (EPPI 2.0) financial help.

The 211 center – which is always open – will refer potentially qualified applicants to one of 13 local non-profit agencies which will help with filling out the application. Landlords can submit an application on behalf of a qualified tenant with tenant permission.

Once the applications are approved, property owners will receive a direct payment on behalf of their tenants. The program provides up to a year of back rent and three months of future rent if the household cannot afford ongoing rent.

So far, the program for low-income households who have experienced a COVID-19 related loss of income has provided nearly $16 million to keep people in their homes.

"It’s also important that we assist the landlords who are facing serious economic losses through no fault of their own."

As of mid-August, 3,500 households have received these emergency grants, with the average grant totaling $4,800.

The average time from application to payment is between 35 and 40 days.

More than 8,200 applications from tenants and landlords from 43 ZIP codes have been received so far. Applications being reviewed now could account for an additional $12 million in grant funds to homeowners.

The federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Programs required Monroe County to spend at least 65% of the first round of funding by the end of September. The program has already met that requirement, having spent 78% of it.

Gross monthly income limits for the program are at or below 80% of the area median income, or about $5,092 for a family of four.