NEW YORK — In her first address as the state’s chief executive, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul skewered the COVID relief process from Washington down, saying she’s “not at all satisfied” with the pace in which funds have been distributed.
In the address, which came just hours after her ceremonial swearing in Tuesday, praised the work of President Joe Biden and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, but insisted that New Yorkers who qualify for financial assistance need to get their money ASAP: “I want the money out now,” she said.
She said she met with legislative leaders in Albany and the group has a unified sense of urgency to get the money out to people in need.
Hochul also announced a plan to remove barriers to receive the funds, while hiring more staff to process applications and launching a campaign to reach more New Yokers about rent relief.
She ended the portion of remarks on rent relief with a guarantee, even repeating it to avoid any room for misunderstanding: If you apply and qualify for COVID rent assistance, you will be protected from eviction for a year.
In general, financial assistance from federal legislation earmarked for states and Americans to help with the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been slow to be distributed. It’s a chief criticism of the response efforts, with Hochul one of many insisting funds be released so they can go to those in need, waiting for the help they’ve been promised.