Several landlords frustrated, skeptical of rent relief program as Gov. Hochul takes the helm
Many landlords in the Hudson Valley say they are skeptical of the rent relief application process regardless of a new face as the head of state.
News 12 spoke with landlord Howie Ravikoff in May as he voiced his frustrations.
Months ago, he hoped the state’s new rental assistance program would help make up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent he’s owed, but it did not.
"There are many of us that are eagerly waiting for the money to come down to us,” says Ravikoff. "Now we are hearing from our new governor that this is going to be it, this is going to be the speed process I don't have much faith that it will happen that way."
On Wednesday, new Gov. Kathy Hochul announced expanded eligibility and accelerated rent relief payments.
Gov. Hochul says it’s one of her priorities after pledging to review the program’s workflow and reassign 100 staff to help landlords resolve incomplete applications. She's also allocated an additional $1 million for advertising to boost applications.
Jennifer Hernandez, of Make the Road New York, says, “People are desperate to get some aid to get some help to cover their rent.”
Hernandez helps undocumented immigrants fill out applications through Make the Road New York.
Anyone with up to 12 months of past due rent, regardless of immigration status, can apply.
"It's more that people are overwhelmed and not secure enough in their technical abilities to be able to get through the application,” says Hernandez.
Some $2.7 billion in emergency rental assistance funding is available to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, but the state has only distributed $680 million.
"I hope whatever the new governor has in mind will be successful in getting that money into our pockets quickly,” says Ravikoff.
News 12 is told the state will begin publicly releasing county by county data on rent relief payments sometime this week.