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Rent Relief Available to Low-Income Residents Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

Published: 7/15/2020

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director

(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced a one-time rent subsidy is available for low-income County residents who were previously “rent-burdened” prior to March 1, 2020 and have experienced an additional decrease in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through New York State’s COVID Rent Relief Navigator. There is a very short application period, and eligible residents are encouraged to submit applications quickly.

The New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal has made $100 million available to help low-income households experiencing an increased rent burden due to loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. Detailed information about the program and its requirements are available on the State’s Rental Relief Program website. Applications will be accepted via an electronic portal for a two-week period, beginning July 16th. 

County Executive Molinaro said, “Residents throughout the nation, state and indeed Dutchess County have experienced immeasurable economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with countless residents losing their jobs, making it much more difficult to pay their monthly rent. For months, we have been advocating for local residents at the state and federal level, and we appreciate Albany’s response, providing this funding to help ensure residents in Dutchess County, and statewide, can remain in their homes. This is a positive first step to assist those negatively impacted by the pandemic, and we will fight for additional state and federal aid to mitigate the economic impact on counties.”

To qualify for rental assistance, residents must meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a renter with a primary residence in New York;
  • Lost income due to COVID-19 crisis during the period April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • Household does not current receive a housing subsidy that covering housing costs that exceed 30 percent of their income;
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must be below 80 percent area median income (see table below); families with extremely low income will be prioritized; and
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household must be “rent burdened,” or pay more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income for rent.

Households with at least one household member with U.S. Citizenship or eligible immigration status qualify for the subsidy. 

The following are the income and rent limits for Dutchess County residents:

Residents may apply for one month or up to four months of assistance during this period; the one-time subsidy is paid directly to the applicant’s landlord. To be eligible, applicants must verify income, including wages, any cash assistance, child support, Social Security payments, rental payments, unemployment benefits and the like.

Homeowners are not eligible for this program, and the following types of rental properties are available for rent relief assistance through the program:

  • Apartment rental;
  • Rent for a single-family home;
  • Manufactured home rental; and
  • Manufactured home lot rental.

Eligible applicants must apply through the NYS COVID Rent Relief website, beginning on July 16th. New York State will establish a call center to answer residents’ questions.

Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie have partnered with two local agencies, Hudson River Housing and Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County, to provide additional support during the application process to vulnerable households including:

  • Extremely low-income households;
  • Those with limited English proficiency;
  • Those with limited technology skills and access; and
  • Those most at risk of homelessness. 

Assistance may be request by calling one of the below numbers:

  • Hudson River Housing, 845-337-4407, ext. 105
  • Catholic Charities, 845-451-4251

Dutchess County’s Community Development Block Grant CARES ACT (CDBG-CV) funds, secured via the federal CARES Stimulus Act, are being used to support this partnership.