Onondaga County starting to process rent relief payments

Local News

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Michael Bersani has a number of rental units in Syracuse. Ss a landlord, the pandemic has been difficult, “I’ve had problems with tenants paying rent both those affected by COVID and those not affected by COVID that just refuse to pay the rent because the moratorium on evictions,” Bersani said.

He did get some assistance from HUD and Onondaga County, but says it’s still tough. “I received about almost $7,000, but I’m still out over $12,000,” he said.

The federal government allocated $29-million in support to the county to create rent relief program. So far, the county has received $17-million of that. Tuesday marked a milestone for the county.
“We, happy to report, have began processing payments,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. McMahon said within the last month the program has received 3,600 applications. He said the verification process is rigorous to meet federal guidelines.

“Originally, we were looking at six months worth of rent, as a qualifier,” McMahon explained, “The federal government asked us to do 12 months and up to potentially three months of rent moving forward.” The county opted out of the state’s program which McMahon said would have required them to wire the federal funding to the state. “Some counties did that. We did not,” McMahon said, “We are getting money out the door. Those counties are not.”

For Michael Bersani, he’s grateful for the relief he’s received but said he’s going to reach out again to the county to see what help is available to address tenants who haven’t been impacted by the pandemic and just refuse to pay their rent. “This is my only source of income,” Bersani said.

To apply or to see if you’re eligible for rent relief, visit: https://ongovrenthelp.com/

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