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LAS Calls for Additional Federal Funding for Emergency Rent Relief

The Legal Aid Society is calling on the federal government to provide additional funding for New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), as reported by Crain’s New York.

The initial funding allocation was based on total population instead of potentially eligible households, leading to disparities in allocations across states. For example, New York received $824 in funds per eligible household, while Wyoming received $8,188.

Although the State requested an additional $1 billion dollars in aid, they have only received $27.2 million. That amount will go towards a backlog of tenants and landlords who have not been paid, but will not be nearly enough to cover the need.

Another opportunity for funding could come as soon as March, which makes advocates hopeful New York will see more money and fully reopen its program to accept new applications.

“We’ve been disappointed all along that New York got so little compared to both the need that we have and the number of renters we have,” said Judith Goldiner, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “But hope springs eternal that Treasury will understand that and will allocate more money for us.”