COVID Rent Relief – Only Two Weeks To Apply

COVID Rent Relief – Only Two Weeks To Apply
Photo by Anthony Fomin on Unsplash

Last week Governor Cuomo announced the COVID Rent Relief Program, which started accepting applications on July 17 and will close at the end of July, to provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy.

The subsidy will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. The program will accept applications over two weeks and then prioritize eligible households with the “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness, NYS Homes and Community Renewal department informs on their website.

The rental assistance payment is intended to lessen the increase in rent burden for those who have seen a reduction in income as the result of the coronavirus pandemic and will “cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the household is applying for assistance,” according to HCR. You can apply for up to four months of rent support.

Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in NYC
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, have a household income below 80% of the area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size.” In Brooklyn (Kings County) that means you may qualify if you made less than:
    • $63,700 as a 1-person household
    • $72,800 as a 2-person household
    • $81,900 as a 3-person household
    • $90,950 as a 4-person household
    • $98,250 as a 5-person household
    • $105,550 as a 6-person household
    • $112,800 as a 7-person household
    • $120,100 as an 8-person household
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, paid more than 30% of your monthly income towards rent.  That means when you add up all your income: wages, any cash grants, child support, social security, unemployment benefits, etc. but not your stimulus check, your rent is still more than 30% of what you made.
  • However, for the purposes of calculating your assistance, your monthly contractual rent may not exceed 125% of the fair market rent per month for each month assistance is requested. Fair market rents are calculated by HUD, and according to them, you are paying 125% of fair rent in Brooklyn if you pay for studio – $2,081, for a one-bedroom apartment – $2,143, two-bedroom – $2,439, three-bedroom – $3,090 and four-bedroom – $3,304.
  • Applicants must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

If you receive Section 8 or live in NYCHA you will not qualify for this program. Click here for more FAQs and to apply.

HCR also has a dedicated call center to provide residents with help Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Call the COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or email at