Suffolk County Offering Some Covid-19 Rental Assistance

Updated: Suffolk County is offering a program to assist tenants with their rent payments.

A second program, to assist small-business owners, is not available to businesses in Huntington or several other towns, because they aren’t  part of the Community Development Block Grant program.

Operation Backstop–Bringing Assistance for COVID-19 and Kickstarting Support to Operating Professionals– is designed to help tenants affected by Covid-19. Residents must live in legal, permanent housing, meaning no hotels, motels or dorms, in Suffolk County, have a lease in effect for at least a month, and meet HUD eligibility requirements. The program covers all of Huntington.

“This new rent relief program coupled with financial aid to struggling small businesses will provide help to some of our most vulnerable residents,” County Executive Steve Bellone said.

The rental assistance program will provide nearly $600,000 in emergency rental assistance to residents and provide nearly 150 small businesses with grants up to $10,000. Applications for the two programs will open on Dec. 17.

The rent program will provide a one-time rental assistance payment to eligible applicants in an amount up to 100% of one month’s rent, up to a maximum of $2,500.  This program funds residents in existing rental units.  The applicant will be required to fill out and sign a self-certification form to verify their income and how they were affected by the pandemic.  All applications are due on January 15, 2021, and a lottery will be held to select awardees. Prior to the application deadline, the County will conduct a robust outreach and training initiative to community-based organizations to ensure assist individuals through the application process.

The application will be available online next week.  Applicants will be chosen by lottery after Jan.15. Participation by both tenant and landlord is required for eligibility. Payments will be made directly to the landlord.

Income eligibility requirements

Household SizeMaximum Combined Alloable Annual Income (60%AMI)Maximum Combined Allowable Annual Income (80%AMI)
                     1$53,200 $70,950
                     2$60,800 $81,050
                     3$68,400 $91,200
                     4$75,950 $101,300
                     8 or more$100,300$133,750

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