Applicants who need assistance with rent arrears will be required to file an application for Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) first.
Those who have received a denial or partial acceptance for ERAP, are allowed to apply for rental assistance with HRA. Confirmation of the ERAP application denial or partial acceptance from OTDA can be provided in hard copy or email format.
For information on ERAP, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Housing Programs & Services, Rent Relief: Under COVID-19.
Please note: Other type of emergencies other than rent, such as moving costs, storage, furniture, etc. should be processed as usual.
Emergency assistance is available for rent arrears, utility arrears or any other type of emergency need. Eligibility requirements for Emergency Assistance grants remain the same. However, the application process and program requirements have been modified under COVID-19. Changes include the ability to apply for emergency assistance grants online via ACCESS HRA and the replacement of in-person interviews with telephone interviews.
If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on the emergency assistance programs, refer to
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF),
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA), and
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA).
For Benefits Plus subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.
While some households may be protected from evictions, all tenants are still responsible for rent and rent arrears. To learn more about eviction protections for tenants, please refer to COVID-19 Resources, Housing Programs & Services, Eviction Moratorium.
Changes in Eligibility Criteria
Emergency Assistance to Adults and Emergency Assistance to Families have not changed their eligibility criteria. However, the Emergency Safety Net Assistance has waived the income requirement for emergencies due to COVID-19, all other guidelines remain the same.
Changes in the Application Procedures
The application for emergency assistance remains the same; it is the LDSS-2921 and can be found at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/applications. For those in receipt of Cash Assistance the application is different, Form W-137A https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/sgdg/housing_arrears/w_146e.pdf.
Typically, individuals applying for an emergency assistance grant would apply at an HRA Job Center. However, not all HRA Job Centers are open, go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/locations/job-locations-and-service-centers.page for available locations. Applicants/recipients should not visit a Job Center unless absolutely necessary.
For those applying for Emergency Assistance Grants in NYC, applicants are strongly encouraged to use ACCESS HRA, http://www.nyc.gov/ACCESSHRA. Required documentation can be submitted (uploaded) electronically via the HRA Mobile app found on Apple Store or Google Play.
ACCESS HRA is an online portal where Emergency Assistance Grant applications may be completed and submitted. During this pandemic, NYC applicants are strongly encouraged to use ACCESS HRA to apply for these benefits. For help with creating an account and user guides, click here.
All in-person interviews for emergency assistance are waived until December 31, 2021 and replaced with a telephone interview. A Job Center worker will call the applicant to complete the interview.
Center for Independence of the Disabled
Can assist with the application/recertification process and needed documentation.
How COVID-19 Cash Aid Impacts Emergency Assistance Grants
ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS
The Economic Impact Payment (up to $1,400 per eligible individual) is not countable for emergency assistance.
FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
The $300/$100 FPUC payments are excluded as income and disregarded as a resource when determining eligibility for emergency assistance. For more information, go to https://otda.ny.gov/policy/gis/2021/21DC015.pdf.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was treated differently under the CARES Act, for more information go to https://otda.ny.gov/policy/gis/2020/20DC035.pdf
For more information on the expanded unemployment benefits refer to COVID-19 Resources, Expansion of Unemployment Insurance.