New York State Senators grilled the man in charge of the state’s $2 billion COVID-19 rent relief program on Thursday morning.
New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, run by Michael Hein, has faced criticism for technical glitches during the application process and slow payouts to help renters in need.
“I am very concerned on behalf of all New Yorkers impacted by this situation,” Senator Robert Jackson said during the hearing.
The program’s website has been recently updated, Hein reported.
“Vulnerable New Yorkers are not statistics or even cases to us, they’re our neighbors,” Hein, commissioner of New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance explained.
So far, the state has paid out $156 million to landlords on behalf of 12,000 households across the state. Next week, more New Yorkers will get good news.
“We will be sending more than 41,000 tenants a very welcome notice that we have provisionally approved their application,” Hein said. “They are protected for up to 1 year.”
Applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program are currently being accepted online at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/