Mayor Eric Adams today called for an immediate infusion of funds for New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program from the United States Treasury Department. He also announced new measures to bolster tenant protections and inform tenants of their rights with significant outreach efforts.
“The federal government has the resources, and now it is time for them to take action with an immediate infusion of funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “New York has gotten the very short end of the stick, and I am joining Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul in demanding that change. In addition, I am encouraging everyone to take advantage of all the resources available to you, know your rights, and protect yourself against eviction.”
“The CoViD-19 pandemic created a housing crisis leaving thousands of New Yorkers concerned about being evicted from their homes. With the state-wide eviction moratorium set to end this Saturday, we are making a push to improve access to free tenant support for all New Yorkers, regardless of lease or immigration status,” said Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives. “Our Public Engagement Unit will fulfill the Mayor’s promise of improving access to services and support by meeting tenants at their doors, on their phones, and in their communities to connect them to critical City services and help those facing eviction get access to free legal support.”
Mayor Adams outlined the following steps to support tenants:
- Mayor Adams urged the Treasury Department to reallocate unused Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds from other states to New York, where hundreds of thousands still need help, and get the funds out the door.
- The City will be surging resources to the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit’s (PEU) Tenant Helpline, which is staffed by the PEU Tenant Support Unit. New Yorkers can access the helpline by calling 311 and asking for the Tenant Helpline.
- The City’s Right to Counsel program is prepared to provide free legal assistance to any eligible New Yorker, no matter what neighborhood they live in. The program has a proven track record of providing quality legal representation to New Yorkers who need it and boosting their success rate in Housing Court. See the Right to Counsel and Illegal Lockouts webpage for more resources.
- Mayor Adams launched a campaign to inform tenants of their rights, connect them to resources, and prepare frontline staff to provide the necessary support, including with a new video released today.
- In the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) CoViD-19 Fact-Sheet, tenants can now find all the information they need about the expiration of the evictions moratorium, ERAP, Right to Counsel, illegal lockouts, and City resources available to keep them stably housed. Tenants can also use the City’s Tenant Resource Portal to learn more about the process of eviction in New York City, what to do when getting a Notice of Eviction, and how to access the City’s resources to fight it.
- PEU will be conducting direct outreach to tenants at risk of eviction to inform them of their rights and connect them to support. In order to meet New Yorkers where they are, and ensure every tenant has access to free legal counsel, PEU will run targeted outreach by phone, text, and door-to-door canvasing to tenants who are currently in Housing Court or have a pending case.
- In partnership with PEU, MOPT, the Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD), and the Human Resources Administration’s (HRA) Office of Civil Justice (and legal providers), the City is also launching a paid media campaign to help get the word out about illegal lockouts and the right to counsel, and to encourage tenants who are in need of assistance to contact PEU’s Tenant Helpline.
New York State received over $2.6 billion in emergency rental assistance. But more than 500,000 New York families still need help, including more than 50,000 New York City Housing Authority (NYHCA) households, while some of the $45 billion in federal emergency rental assistance remains unspent.
“Throughout the pandemic, our dedicated staff at DSS-HRA and our not-for-profit legal provider partners have done invaluable work connecting New Yorkers experiencing housing instability to the resources and services needed to stay in their homes. As we approach the looming expiration of the region’s eviction moratorium, this Administration stands ready to support any New Yorker who is facing eviction or behind on their rent, including through our City’s first-in-the-nation Right to Counsel program, which will help vulnerable New Yorkers fight unlawful evictions, keep their homes, and avoid homelessness altogether,” said Gary Jenkins, Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration (HRA).
“More than ever, it is critical that New Yorkers know their rights and can take advantage of the many City resources available to respond to the threat of eviction. Protecting tenants is a key tenet of HPD’s mission and we look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants, the Public Engagement Unit, and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice to help connect families to the support they need to stay stably housed,” said AnnMarie Santiago, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
“We know that if you’re worried about losing your home, the last thing you should have to worry about is navigating a complicated City bureaucracy. That’s why my team at the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit is proactively reaching out to tens of thousands of NYC tenants to make sure they know about their rights and have access to resources that help them stay in their homes,” said Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU).
“The expiration of the eviction moratorium is looming, and in this City tenants should know that we will support them when facing the potential of an eviction, or when dealing with an unscrupulous landlord. New York City is unique in that it has such strong tenant protections. We will fight alongside tenants in the courts to help prevent eviction, and we will enforce our laws vigorously to let landlords know that illegal lockouts and harassment are unacceptable. I hope this outreach campaign, coordinated in part by my office, will serve the purpose of letting tenants know that they have significant rights, and that the City is here to help them enforce those rights,” said Ricardo Martinez Campos, Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT).
“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve fought hard to include billions in rental aid to help New York families at risk of eviction in federal CoViD relief packages. As cases surge in New York City, it’s critical that additional funding is distributed immediately to New Yorkers still in need. I urge the Treasury Department to dispense all available funds and will keep pushing to get New Yorkers the resources they need to keep their homes,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“The Omicron variant is still ravaging New York City, and it is abundantly clear that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers still need help staying in their homes and keeping the lights on. No one should be forced from their home because of hardship caused by this pandemic, and this assistance would go a long way in making sure that our friends and neighbors can keep a roof over their heads. That is why I fought to include Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding in the American Rescue Plan. New York deserves its fair share with billions of dollars of unused and unallocated funding. I thank Mayor Adams for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with him to pull New York City out of this pandemic,” added Representative Jerrold Nadler.
“New York has a demonstrated need for additional rental assistance funds. At a time when our City and its residents are still responding to the CoViD-19 pandemic, we must do all we can to ensure our residents are stably housed and have the resources they need to come through this pandemic safely,” said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney.
“With the surge of the Omicron variant, the reality is that too many New Yorkers are still facing dire economic consequences through no fault of their own. Amidst the hardship, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to prevent the trauma and devastation of eviction. That is why I fought hard to pass multiple rounds of emergency rental assistance at the federal level and support Mayor Adams in his efforts to infuse more funding to New York City and bolster resources so tenants know their rights and can access this critical program,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez.
“I join my colleagues’ efforts to ensure New York – given its high demand for rental assistance – receives the appropriate level of funding necessary to keep people in their homes as the coronavirus remains a significant threat to our City and State. As the Biden-Harris Administration prioritizes equity in its policymaking, regional demands must be considered and there remains a strong case for enhanced support for New York’s expansive housing ecosystem,” said Representative Gregory W. Meeks.
“New Yorkers, especially those who call the 9th Congressional District home, are struggling to deal with increasingly overbearing rent payments. And too many have been unfairly deprived of the assistance intended for this exact purpose. New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has served as a blessing to those who have come to rely on it, but it is running dangerously low in resources. The funds needed to prolong this program’s success and protect the people who rely on it, exists. The time has come to use them. However necessary these funds are, it is critical to remember they are only a stopgap, not a solution to our housing crisis. Extending the eviction moratorium is a necessary step towards keeping people in their homes, especially during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. And until we can meaningfully address the root causes that create housing instability, our state government has a duty to ensure folks can get the help they need to avoid unnecessary evictions,” said Representative Yvette D. Clarke.
“New Yorkers unable to pay rent due to the CoViD-19 crisis must not be thrown out on the street. As New York’s senior appropriator in Congress, I will fight for the immediate infusion of these federal funds, and look forward to working with our new mayor to ensure that those impacted receive the assistance they need. I thank Mayor Adams for his leadership, and for making crucial rental assistance a key priority,” said Representative Grace Meng.
“Due to the devastating impact of the CoViD-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are facing deep rental debt, the prospect of eviction, and housing insecurity. This housing crisis that predated the pandemic is disproportionately impacting renters of color who face higher unemployment rates, are more likely to contract and become severely ill with CoViD-19, and are more likely to lose their homes. In order to achieve an equitable recovery from this pandemic, we must provide assistance to the estimated one in five renters that are struggling with back rent. To avoid further housing instability that could leave families, many of them with children, experiencing homelessness, trauma, and devastating cycles of poverty, we must do everything we can to provide an immediate infusion of funds to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman.
“I am grateful to Mayor Adams and state and federal officials for speaking up to get the funding New Yorkers need to stay in their homes, and for the Right to Counsel program to provide emergency legal assistance for tenants at risk. We need the federal government’s help to assist tenants and landlords with covering costs – evictions exacerbate our public health crisis and will have ripple effects through education, mental health, and economic stability for families. But at the state and city level, we must address the affordable housing shortage and end unnecessary evictions to ensure safe, affordable, stable homes for all our neighbors,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
“As our city and state continue to face a housing and homelessness crisis, the funds distributed through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program have been critical in helping to keep New Yorkers in their homes – but the federal funding has not been enough to meet the scope of the emergency. I am grateful that courts reopened the application for these programs, now we urgently need additional federal funds – in addition to legislative solutions – to prevent imminent mass evictions,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
“The Bronx was hit particularly hard by the CoViD-19 pandemic and many of our residents were left wondering how they would pay their rent. I stand with Mayor Adams, Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul in calling on the Federal Government to give New Yorkers our fair share of aid as we work to recover and build back. I also applaud Mayor Adams on expanding outreach efforts and resources to ensure every New Yorker has equal access to knowing their rights as a tenant,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.
“With the State’s eviction moratorium set to expire in two days, our city is about to face an unprecedented eviction crisis. I appreciate Mayor Adams’ efforts to expand resources for tenants, and I support his call on our federal government partners to provide more financial assistance to New Yorkers in need. We already have a homelessness crisis in New York, and if we don’t address this impending crisis head on, it’s about to get much worse,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
“The economic consequences of the CoViD-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come, further exacerbating our city’s ongoing housing crisis. The renters of Queens struggling to get by in these unprecedented times deserve nothing less than an all-out government effort to keep them in their homes, and I join the city and state in calling for the full funding of New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. No hard-working family should ever face eviction or homelessness, especially not on the heels of a historic public health crisis. I stand with my colleagues to demand the federal government to pay its fair share and to ensure the City does all it can to support those who call it home,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.
“I represent one of the most expensive places to live in the country, it is imperative that the federal government replenish New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. I have received countless calls from tenants who are concerned that they cannot pay their rent. As New York’s housing crisis continues amidst another CoViD-19 wave, it is important to ensure every single New Yorker is able to stay in their home during this trying period. I fully support Mayor Eric Adams’ request for the federal government to replenish New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program to support renters and their landlords,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.
“I join Mayor Eric Adams in calling on the Treasury Department to provide a very large infusion of additional funding for New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program to fully and fairly meet New York’s rental assistance needs. While the funds distributed so far have been a lifeline for tenants facing hardships brought by CoViD-19 and landlords who need rent payments to maintain their buildings, New York has been seriously shortchanged in the allocation of these funds. Federal legislation calls for Treasury Department officials to reallocate funding that was initially distributed on a per capita basis, to ensure that states with the greatest need for rental assistance get their fair share. Thus far they have failed to do that in a meaningful way, leaving many states with more money than they need and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without relief. I applaud Mayor Adams for standing up for New Yorkers at this critical time and calling for the resources our congressional delegation fought for to be made available for emergency rental assistance as soon as possible. In the meantime, I would urge all tenants who need assistance to apply for the program, so they can benefit from the eviction protections we enacted that protect people while their application is pending, and so we can have an accurate measure of the full need,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, chair of the Senate Housing Committee and original sponsor of New York’s ERAP legislation that was included in the State budget.
“As the end of the eviction moratorium draws closer, my constituents are coming to my office in greater numbers with eviction notices in hand, fearful of being thrown out of their homes. It is the second winter of this pandemic, with a highly infectious variant running through our city. The single greatest predictor for an eviction is the presence of a child in the household, and our shelter system, our schools, and our safety net are not equipped for this impending wave of evictions. As we continue to fight to pass Good Cause Eviction in Albany, we need our partners in the federal government to replenish ERAP so New Yorkers can file their applications, fend off an eviction, and settle any back rent owed during the pandemic,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos.
“I applaud Mayor Adams leadership and join him in calling on Washington to provide NYC with its fair share of funding. Federal funding for the ERAP program will help tenants and landlords at a time when CoViD is still leaving many New Yorkers in tenuous economic shape,” said State Senator Diane Savino.
“The federal government has the funds to help our people in need. They could do it right now. I am deeply concerned about the approaching date where our people will be left unprotected from evictions. I join in the urgent call by Senator Schumer, Governor Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to demand action now by the Federal Treasury Department. I ask that you listen to the voices of our people who have not received a fair deal and now have thousands of families who need help. We cannot allow the resources to exist and not reach our people,” said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda.
“Every day, my Bronx constituents contact me pleading for help because they are unable to afford their rent. With the eviction moratorium expiring on Saturday, our city and state is on the verge of a housing crisis that will result in a significantly high number of evictions. New York is in desperate need of assistance, and I am appreciative of Mayor Adams joining the call requesting federal funding of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) so we can ensure that all New Yorkers are able to stay in their homes,” said Assemblymember Kenny Burgos.
“New York was one of the hardest-hit states by the CoViD-19 pandemic and I know cause I have witnessed it in my district. While evictions were occurring before the pandemic the danger of being unhoused is even greater now. That is why I join Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, and Majority Leader Schumer’s call for increased funding for the emergency rental assistance program (ERAP). On the state level, I will do my part and push for the passage of Good Cause eviction and state-wide right to counsel legislation. We must keep New Yorkers in their homes,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas.
“Too many New Yorkers are struggling economically, still in dire need of housing assistance. I strongly support the Mayor’s request for federal assistance for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. There are unused emergency funds that can help keep families and landlords stable amid the uncertainty exacerbated by the recent surge of Omicron, so let’s put it to good use as soon as possible,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.
“Thousands of tenants across New York City are still experiencing drastic financial crises due the ongoing pandemic. Unused monies from other states would benefit these struggling New York families tremendously, and I join Governor Hochul, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Mayor Adams in urging the Federal Government to make these vital transfers,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
“With the eviction moratorium expiring, I applaud the Mayor’s call for additional funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. As a former tenant lawyer and having lived through an eviction as a child, I know the impact this program will have to protect vulnerable tenants in my district, and I encourage all New Yorkers in need to take advantage of available resources,” said Council Member Shaun Abreu.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provided economic relief to households needing rental assistance and those at risk of experiencing homelessness. Having an influx of Federal funding will provide significant economic relief to help households with the necessary resources to remain in their homes and support Mayor Adams, Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul’s call for additional federal funding,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.
“New York City’s tenants need the federal government to step up and help to keep them in their homes. After so much advocacy and work by our representatives in Washington, DC to help New Yorkers in need, now is not the time for the Treasury Department to pinch pennies. I want to thank Mayor Adams for his early leadership in protecting tenants across our city,” said Council Member Erik Bottcher.
“Every New Yorker deserves to know their housing rights, and to get help navigating housing issues when they need it. As we continue to fight the CoViD-19 pandemic, we must use every resource at our disposal to keep our families and neighbors housed and protected. I support the Adams administration’s efforts to ensure that New York City’s tenants receive crucial emergency funding and assistance,” said Council Member and Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers.
“There is no more important measure that can be taken to secure and enhance public safety and public health than ensuring everyone has a dignified, comfortable home. Emergency rental assistance from the federal government would go a long way toward realizing this vital goal. I am proud to join with my colleagues to urge Washington to take action to protect our families and communities,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán.
“There is no doubt that an eviction avalanche will impact our communities if we do not take immediate action to protect tenants. As a former State Legislator, I was proud to support the eviction moratorium that is currently in place. Today, I join Mayor Eric Adams in requesting support from the federal government in order to keep New Yorkers in their homes,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa.
“With more than 500,000 families in need, ERAP funds must be directed immediately to protect them. It is encouraging to see Mayor Adams taking this issue head on, and employing all resources to deliver for vulnerable New York City residents,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz.
“The upcoming termination of the eviction moratorium will displace thousands of families who have not only struggled prior to the CoViD-19 pandemic, but have had to bear the brunt of the first, and several, continued waves of the CoViD-19 virus. Those who have been protected by the moratorium are not able to pay rent due to several systemic issues that have still not been addressed statewide, such as — wage inequality, lack of economic mobility, intergenerational dependence and reliance, and the inability to keep up with the rising real estate prices of the city. I applaud Mayor Eric Adam’s initiative to not only advocate for more relief for our city’s residents, but also keep our communities informed of their rights as tenants with significant outreach efforts. My office will continue to work with the Mayor and the efforts to keep our city’s families safe while navigating the end of what has been a life-saving moratorium for many,” said Council Member Amanda Farias.
“The moratorium on residential evictions is coming close to an end and low-income tenants continue to feel the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its variants. Additional resources are needed need to ensure that the city continues to recover. Expanding on funds for the ERAP program will give New Yorkers the much-needed reprieve they need to build themselves and their families back from this pandemic, and alleviate the pressures that back rent from the pandemic has caused. My office has already secured over $100,000 in ERAP funds for constituents, and we will continue the effort to ensure that members of our community will not be displaced because of pandemic related rental arrears,” said Council Member Oswald Feliz.
“I echo Mayor Eric Adams’ call for additional funds for New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program from the United States Treasury Department. While the CoViD pandemic has hit all New Yorkers hard, it has had a particularly devastating impact on renters. It is time for the federal government to step up and deliver relief to New Yorkers, and I look forward to continuing to support renters in my district by connecting them to resources and legal assistance,” said Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez.
“I agree with Mayor Adams. Federal funds shouldn’t be sitting there while both tenants and small landlords are still struggling. Both need to recover if our city is to bounce back from this pandemic,” said Council Member Robert Holden.
“The most important task at hand is to keep people in their homes, and the least the federal government can do is provide New York – the epicenter of the CoViD-19 pandemic – with its fair share of funding to do so. I will continue to work with the Mayor to ensure New Yorkers have all the resources they need, including access to ERAP funding,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson.
“In the midst of the worst pandemic in one hundred years, the Federal government has a moral obligation to provide tenants with badly needed rental assistance. I fully support Governor Hochul, Senator Schumer, and Mayor Adams in their efforts to get the Emergency Rental Assistance Program fully funded for New York City,” said Council Member Rita Joseph.
“People who received assistance from the ERAP program during the pandemic experienced a sense of relief for them and their families. What about those who have not received assistance? The alarming rise in CoViD-19 rates, including in Southern Brooklyn, continues to negatively impact the lives of many tenants and businesses. ERAP funds helped both tenants and landlords during these tough times. I strongly support efforts by Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul to bring these much needed resources from federal government to our communities,” said Council Member Ari Kagan.
“It is the role of government to ensure that every human being has an affordable, dignified, and permanent place to live. That is what is meant by housing as a human right. After surviving multiple waves of the pandemic—our communities were the epicenter of the epicenter—my neighbors in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights urgently need rent relief to survive the resulting economic hardship. I join Mayor Adams, Senator Schumer, and Governor Hochul in calling for the federal government to do all it can, as expeditiously as possible, to provide funds for ERAP,” said Council Member Shekar Krishnan.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program has helped keep thousands of New Yorkers housed during the pandemic. It is unconscionable that in the middle of the Omicron surge, the program is not fully funded while money remains on the table. As New Yorkers, we must stand together in calling for our fair share of the aid Congress intended for us. I want to applaud Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, Senator Schumer, and the rest of our elected leadership for uniting behind this shared goal,” said Council Member Linda Lee.
“I join Mayor Adams in calling for increased funds for ERAP. Thousands of my constituents will be evicted when the moratorium lifts unless we have a funded safety net to keep them from homelessness. The pandemic is still ongoing, and its economic impacts will last even longer. No level of government can in good faith leave our neighbors without homes in the middle of winter,” said Council Member Christopher Marte.
“I applaud Mayor Adams for his efforts to assist struggling tenants as they face the looming deadline of the eviction moratorium. All hands must be on deck in government to immediately help these New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet and face housing uncertainty. The federal government should act to fund the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or risk the very real possibility of seeing many families put out in the cold. We must endeavor to help all those New Yorkers, tenants and small landlords alike, whose lives have been upended by the CoViD pandemic,” said Council Member Mercedes Narcisse.
“I am proud to support Mayor Adams in calling on the federal government to immediately provide additional aid for New York’s emergency rental assistance program. As the state’s eviction moratorium deadline approaches, it’s imperative that New Yorkers receive their promised portion of the program, as well as the support, resources, and information they need to protect themselves against eviction,” said Council Member Keith Powers.
“Thank you to Mayor Adams for expanding vital resources for tenants at risk of eviction and smartly advocating for more state and federal support at this critical time. I am especially appreciative of the Mayor’s commitment to provide legal assistance for any New Yorker facing eviction and hope to work together to lift Right to Counsel income restrictions permanently,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler.
“Affordable, equitable, and just housing is vital to our public health and safety. With the New York State eviction moratorium set to expire on January 15, 2022, we must do everything within our power to protect tenants from eviction. That includes fighting for Good Cause Eviction and reopening the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), among other existing community-focused initiatives such as Right to Counsel. Still, hundreds of thousands of New York families urgently need help. We cannot delay. I join the Mayor, Governor, and Senator in demanding additional funding be directed to New York City and State, so that we can honor our responsibility to protect New Yorkers from eviction during a pandemic in the middle of winter,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“With tenants across New York still struggling to recover from the pandemic, it is critical that New York gets access to additional emergency funds for the ERAP program. I look forward to working with Mayor Adams and my partners across government to advocate for vital resources to be delivered to the hundreds of thousands of families that are at risk of eviction or homelessness without this support,” said Councilwoman Sandra Ung.
“We cannot let New Yorkers be thrown out of their homes in the middle of a CoViD-19 surge. The federal government has the money to add to ERAP, and the state needs to extend the eviction moratorium. We need to make every resource available to protect our neighbors from an impending homelessness catastrophe,” said Council Member Julie Won.