Buffalo, NY - As Buffalo, and cities across the state, continue to see a slow and steady rise in COVID-19 cases, Mayor Byron W. Brown reminded Buffalo residents who have lost income due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, to apply for emergency rent and mortgage relief before the November 15th deadline.
Mayor Brown stated, “We know Buffalo renters and homeowners are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know people have been laid off, furloughed, or experienced a workplace closure and we don’t want them to miss out on this critical aid. Please apply before the November 15th deadline. We want to make sure we continue to provide support and services where it is most needed.”
Back in September, Mayor Brown joined Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and others to launch the ‘Live Well Erie and City of Buffalo CARES Act Renters and Mortgage Assistance Program’, which will provide temporary rent and mortgage relief to eligible tenants, homeowners and landlords.
With the November 15th application deadline coming up, Mayor Brown ramped up efforts today to get the word out, particularly in city neighborhoods most impacted by COVID illness and job loss. Those areas include: Masten Park and Delavan Grider, Hamlin Park, the lower West side, Riverside, Grant-Amherst , Black Rock, West Hertel, Kenield and University Heights
The best way to apply for rent or mortgage assistance is online: www.211wny.org/. If an applicant does not have access to the internet, simply call 211. If an applicant needs technical assistance uploading documents, they can stop by any one of the six locations in Buffalo listed below.
DELAVAN GRIDER COMMUNITY CENTER
877 E. Delavan Avenue M-F/11 am – 6 pm
ERIE REGIONAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION D/B/A THE BELLE CENTER
145 Maryland Street Call ahead / 845-4805
MATT URBAN HOPE CENTER 385 PADEREWSKI STREET
M-F/11 AM – 4 PM 893-7222
NORTHWEST BFLO. COMMUNITY CENTER 155 LAWN AVENUE
M-F/9 AM – 3 PM / 876-8108
OLD FIRST WARD COMMUNITY CENTER
62 REPUBLIC STREET CALL AHEAD / 856-8613
UNIV. DISTRICT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (UDCDA)
995 KENSINGTON AVENUE M-F / 9 AM – 4 PM
CALL AHEAD / 832-1010
WESTSIDE COMMUNITY SERVICES
161 VERMONT STREET M-F/9 AM – 4 PM
The Live Well Erie Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program will provide a grant of up to $1,500 per month to cover the monthly lease rent/mortgage (based on the rent paid as of March 1, 2020), with a maximum of $3,500 per household. The rent subsidy will be paid directly to the tenant’s landlord on behalf of the tenant. The mortgage subsidy will be paid directly to the lender.
“Extending this critical aid to homeowners and renters is another way we are working to help individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic here in Erie County,” Poloncarz said. “The virus’ impacts have been felt countywide and across every sector, so, just as we have acted to help school districts, businesses, children and caregivers, we are acting today to help working families and individuals keep a roof over their heads. We are addressing this need as a community, and I thank Mayor Brown, Clerk Kearns, 211 WNY and HAWNY for aiding in this effort.”
This program will be available to renters and homeowners who meet the following eligibility criteria:
Income guidelines: Household size, maximum annual income
Funding provided to households must be utilized for households that are currently behind in rent or mortgage payments. Households must be low or moderate income (85% of state median income) prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and must currently reside within Erie County. All services and assistance will be provided on a temporary basis only. A maximum of five months' rent/mortgage can be offered as financial assistance to approved, qualified households/ families. Leveraging of other funding sources is possible as long as the assistance does not exceed the amount in arrears or duplicate funding source.
The rental properties seeking assistance can only be used for residential use in accordance with local regulations. If the renter/homeowner or landlord/mortgage company provides false information to Erie County or its designee, they will not be qualified for the assistance and will be required to repay the assistance. The eligibility determination organization or
its designee has the final say/decision in all matters/situations pertaining to this program. The program regulations can be changed at any time throughout the grant year due to reasons of funding or program need. In addition, the entire program may be withdrawn and/or changed by Erie County for any reason, including reasons of funding or program effect.