Madison Co. survey finds renters owe landlords around $500K due to COVID pandemic

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Thursday, March 18, 2021 file photo, Bonney Ginett looks out the window of her apartment in the Queens borough of New York. Ginett, whose massage therapy business dried up during the pandemic, applied for help in July and said she was denied in October because she failed to prove loss of income. The 65-year-old New York City resident now owes more than $26,000 in back rent on her one-bedroom apartment and fears eviction. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Madison County recently released a survey to landlords to assess their tenants’ ability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the state and federal moratoriums on evictions.

The county received 55 responses to its survey in zip codes representing Oneida, Canastota, Chittenango, Cazenovia, Hamilton, and Morrisville among several other communities.

The survey found:

  • A total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have 20 rental units or less.
  • A total of 46 of 55 surveyed landlords have 5 rental buildings or less.
  • A reported 175 rental units are one or more months behind in monthly rent, with a total amount owed of $627,319 (ranging from $0-$95,000) with an average of $11,406 owed to landlords. 
  • A reported 127 rental units are one or more months behind in monthly rent specifically due to COVID-19.  The total amount owed is $513,784 (ranging from $0-$44,134) with an average of $9,342 owed to landlords.

“We have seen first-hand the financial hardship that COVID-19 placed on both Madison County residents and landlords, and we hope that with new available state funding, both will receive much-needed assistance to ease their financial burden,” says Madison County Department of Social Services Deputy Commissioner for Financial Assistance, Tricia Platt. 

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has made $25 billion available nationwide to help households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID pandemic.

While other counties have been able to offer ERAP services through their own resources, Madison County is required to rely on the New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA) to administer funds on their behalf.

OTDA says an online application portal will be available soon and those eligible will receive funds within 4-6 weeks of applying.

Madison County DSS and Community Action Partnership (CAP) will be on hand to assist with ERAP information, and outreach as soon as the NYS portal becomes available. 

For eligibility requirements and additional information on Madison County’s rent relief program, click here.

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