Onondaga County has received more than 5,600 applications for rental assistance

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Since mid-April, Onondaga County has been accepting applications for rental assistance.

“By mid-May, when we got our first check out, we have received over 5,600 applications, but 75% of those came in the first two weeks,” said Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive for Human Services in Onondaga County, “So we knew we had a big job ahead of us.”

The county was allocated $29 million from the federal government. They have not received the full amount yet.

“There was what they called ERA1. And then once you spend all that money you will get ERA2 and we’ve received that first amount of money at $13.6 million. Right now we have spent about $7.6 million of that,” Rooney explained.

ERA stands for Emergency Rental Assistance. ERA was established by Congress and administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

When you consider how many applications the county received, the process takes time. The county decided to create it’s own program rather than going through the state. Rooney said that gives the county more control and they’re able to process more payments that way.

“So far, over 1,400 have received payments from that, but there were about 200 denials in there as well,” Rooney added.

The federal government allows a maximum of 12 months for rent relief for the program. Regardless of what happens with the state’s moratorium, the county has a plan if an eviction takes place. It would first go to housing court.

“We’ve set up a system where the court will talk to our Department of Social Services to see if there’s an application in place,” Rooney explained. “If there is an application in place, they’re going to, you know, put the Case in abeyance for 60 days while we get the payment out.”

If they have not applied they will be given a chance to apply.

If you are in need of rent relief you can still apply for funding. If you need assistance with your application, you can contact the county by calling (315) 435-2700, select 3 when prompted or dial 211. The County’s website also has information on who qualifies and a list of organizations that will help you with your application. Learn more here: https://ongovrenthelp.com

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