Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced City of Buffalo residents have received $5,399,440 in payments through New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) between June 1 and September 21, 2021.
According to the latest ERAP data released by the state, more than 10 percent of Buffalo renter households have filed for aid through the program, exceeding the statewide rate, as well as the rate of all municipalities, including New York City.
“Those great numbers and statistics are the product of the City of Buffalo’s aggressive outreach efforts regarding the State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. We have been very successful in assisting our residents who are having difficulties paying their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in filling out and filing their applications,” Mayor Brown said.
Through late September, 836 City of Buffalo residents have received $4,021,200 to pay overdue rent and 602 applicants received $1,378,240 for projected housing expenses. Funds were also paid for overdue utility bills.
The ERAP program assists renters, as well as landlords, close the gap on rental arrears.
The City’s Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) is working in partnership with the New York State Off¬ice of Temporary and Disability Assistance to assist Buffalo renters and landlords to receive housing assistance through the ERAP. The program provides up to 12 months of rental and utility assistance to residents impacted by COVID-19
To date, only those who applied between June 1 and July 22 have received payments; thousands of applications are still in process.
NYS has allocated $16.8 million for renters with COVID-related financial issues which have caused them to fall behind on rent payments, as well as those who face continued difficulties paying for housing.
“At this point, we’ve gone through just about a third of our ERAP allocation, so we will continue all of our outreach efforts to make sure all those who qualify put in an application. These dollars keep roofs over our residents’ heads, especially those who live in our City’s most economically challenged neighborhoods,” Mayor Brown said.
As of October 1, 2021, a total of 10,370 Buffalo residents had submitted applications.
The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, which is overseeing the City’s ERAP outreach efforts through its STAND UP Buffalo initiative, is pleased with the number of applications that have been filed by renters in Buffalo’s most financially vulnerable zip codes.
In addition to the City’s designated $16.8 million, Buffalo residents can also receive assistance from New York State’s ERAP fund. Buffalo renters and landlords have applied for more than $72 million from the program to date.
“We continue to work with BURA’s funded partner network to ensure the most vulnerable tenants and neighborhoods have access to these much-needed resources,” said Leslie Vishwanath, BURA’S Director of Program Management.
To learn more about the program, who qualifies, and documentation requirements, go to otda.ny.gov/ERAP OR call the NYS ERAP call center at 1-844-NY1-RENT.
Those who need help filling out their applications should call 2-1-1. For information on the ERAP and other COVID-19 assistance programs, visit standupbuffalo.com.