Dozens of groups offering help on rent relief applications in Onondaga County

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While the federal moratorium on residential evictions has expired, there’s still time here in New York State. The deadline is August 31, but tenants in the state have to submit a hardship declaration. Rent relief is still available in Onondaga County.

On any given day, you’ll find Christion Patterson working on his laptop at Victory Temple Fellowship Church in Syracuse. His job is to help people fill out their application for the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

“I helped at least, probably a little over 100 actually, a little over 100 because I’ve been doing this for about three months now,” Patterson said.

The church is just one of three dozen organizations across Onondaga County helping people with their applications. In May, the county began processing relief payments. Patterson said the process to fill out the application takes about 15 minutes.

He said applicants have two common questions. “Am I going to get qualified or how long will it take,” Patterson explained.

Patterson said it can take up to 40 days to be approved.

According to the county, here are the eligibility requirements:

  • An individual in your household has had a reduction of income or other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • An individual within your household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  • You have an obligation to pay rental arrears and rent.
  • Your household income is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income.

Patterson encouraged anyone who may be in need to reach out to see if they qualify.

“Do it,” he said, “The worst you can get told is no.”

He shared why it was important to him to be involved in the process. “I’m just here to help and I’m glad to help,” Patterson said.

If you are in need of assistance with the application you can leave a message with the church office by calling (315) 474-4213 and someone will call you back to set up an appointment.

Here is the link to the list of other groups and organizations providing assistance with the application. You can also call: (315) 435-2700 select 3 when prompted or dial 211 you can also send an Email to rental.assistance@dfa.state.ny.us

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