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ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s promise to get more COVID-19 rental assistance money into the hands of struggling New York tenants takes on new urgency after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s temporary federal ban on evictions.

The court ruling Thursday means that New Yorkers behind on their rent because of pandemic financial hardship will have fewer protections when the state’s own eviction ban expires Aug. 31.

New York’s rental relief program got off to a slow start. It is supposed to dole out more than $2.4 billion to renters, but as of Monday the state had distributed only $200 million of that money.

Hochul said New York lawmakers were looking at the options to protect state residents.

“It is critical that New Yorkers know that anyone who applies to the rent relief program will automatically be protected from eviction while their application is pending” she said. “More than $800 million has already been already disbursed or is now ready for landlords to accept on behalf of their tenants. More than $1 billion remains available for relief and resources are available through community organizations to help New Yorkers apply, receive eviction protection, and pay their rent.”

She urged New Yokers to complete and submit applications immediately.

“This is urgent,” Hochul said.