State lawmakers are calling for an expedited process for tenants and landlords to again access in rental assistance approved earlier this year by the state and federal governments.
The push comes as New York extended its moratorium on evictions until August as the economic aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, and smaller landlords have struggled to absorb the financial loss created by the public health crisis.
Sen. Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Bill Conrad, in a letter to state officials, called for the creation of an online application portal for tenants and landlords to access funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
"Landlords in other states like Vermont and Connecticut are already seeing action, as these states are actively distributing rental relief funding," the lawmakers wrote in a letter released last week. "It's time for New York to act with urgency, and get this funding out the door."
State officials for nearly a year have banned evictions for tenants who can demonstrate a financial hardship related to the pandemic. Lawmakers have estimated tens of thousands of renters have been able to stay in their homes as a result of the moratorium.
But landlords in recent weeks have called for aid to be freed up after months of waiting.
"Landlords are facing difficult decisions as they wait for New York to distribute federal rent relief fundng," Ryan and Conrad wrote in the letter. "They are trying to show compassion, while the thought of foreclosure weighs heavily on their minds."