Lawmakers gave public housing tenants lowest priority for Covid-related rental help

More than $117 million worth of Emergency Rental Assistance Program payments have been withheld from the New York City Housing Authority because of language in state law that gives public housing tenants the lowest priority to receive funds.

New York’s Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program of 2021 established the payment structure for the state’s rent-relief program, which has distributed more than $2.4 billion in federal funds to landlords and tenants since the pandemic began. New York’s rent-relief program has faced heavy criticism for not launching and not distributing money quickly enough, particularly under the Cuomo administration.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2023 April budget agreement brought an additional $800 million

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