SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County had the option to use the state’s program for rental assistance, but decided to create its own.

“We’re really happy that we did that because if we had joined in with the state number one, we wouldn’t have as many payments issued at this point,” explained Deputy County Executive for Human Services Ann Rooney.

So far, more than 1,400 payments have been issued. Rooney said the county has spent about $7.6 million of the $29 million they were allocated from the federal government.

“We know that that amount of money is going to come into the Community,” Rooney said, “We’d lose a little bit of control if we had joined with the state.”

The county’s program includes navigators at dozens of community groups, like Christion Patterson, who helps people with their application at Victory Temple Fellowship Church in Syracuse. The county has already received more than 5,600 applications. Once an application is submitted, it takes time to process and make a decision.

“So there are some that applied in April, we’re still working through that first over 3,000 that we got in the first two weeks. Because each one is an individual one. Somebody has to look at each one and again, this was new for us,” Rooney explained.

If you’ve applied for assistance, Rooney asked both renters and landlords for their continued patience.

“Thirty percent of the applicants have received their payments, which I think is a great thing,” Rooney added, “But for those who haven’t, we have almost 1,000 pending cases right now, which means we’re looking at it. We’ll have a decision very soon.”

If an application is approved, the check goes directly to the landlord.

If you haven’t already, you can still apply.

If you need to apply or want more information you can learn more here: