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LAS Slams Ongoing Problems with State's COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

Attorneys at the Legal Aid Society continue to take aim at New York’s COVID-19 Rent Relief program – despite a new application window with broader eligibility criteria meant to disperse the remaining $60 million of federal aid, as reported by Gothamist.

While the loosened restrictions are a welcome development, housing rights advocates fear that the rules are still too restrictive and that thousands of struggling New Yorkers will still be left saddled with debt – despite the assistance.

“The program doesn’t pay what people owe. It pays a complicated formula that has an expectation that people will continue to pay rent even though they have increased costs and lower income,” said Ellen Davidson, an attorney with The Legal Aid Society. “That money needs to get into the hands of tenants as quickly as possible. If we do not spend it, it will be taken away and given to a state that will.”