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Molinaro Announces More Than $624,000 in COVID-19 Rent Relief

Published: 3/1/2022

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today more than $624,000 in funding for rent and utility relief is available through a COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Relief program for low- and moderate-income households. The program, previously announced in April 2021, was placed on pause while New York State continued to accept applications under its Emergency Rent Relief Program (ERAP). Since the Dutchess County allocation under the ERAP program has seemingly been exhausted, the County is partnering with Hudson River Housing to reopen the Rent Relief Program.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Renters and landlords have felt a disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many tenants seeing their incomes decrease considerably – if not totally – due to the economic repercussions of these unparalleled times, and many property owners facing hardships due to tenants’ inability to pay rent. Dutchess County is proud to make this vital funds available to those who need them most, staving off housing insecurity and alleviating burdens for both renters and landlords. I encourage those who need this assistance to explore this important program.”

The parameters of the program remain the same; the area median income (AMI) limits, however, have been revised to reflect current income limits updated by Housing and Urban Development (HUD), annually. To be eligible, household income must be below 80 percent of the AMI with a priority for households at or below 60 percent of the AMI, as illustrated in the below table:

Additional household eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Demonstrate a COVID-19 related impact;
  • Legally binding rental agreement with the landlord;
  • Landlord-issued rental ledger outlining rent owed by month; and,
  • Landlord and tenant agree to enter into a landlord/tenant rental agreement, with landlord agreeing to waive late and legal fees.

Applications received, via an online application portal, through March 14, 2022 will be processed via a lottery selection process, with households earning less than 60 percent assisted prior to those earning less than 80 percent of the AMI. After March 14th, applications will be processed in the order in which they are received until all funding is exhausted.

Complete program guidance, eligibility requirements and application instructions are available online

Funding available under this rent relief program is for Dutchess County residents, who do not live in the City of Poughkeepsie since the City of Poughkeepsie receives its own Community Development Block Grant funds. The City of Poughkeepsie, however, is partnering with Hudson River Housing for implementation of a similar rent relief program for City of Poughkeepsie residents.