Tens of thousands of renters on Long Island are behind on payments as the clock ticks toward the expiration of the statewide eviction moratorium.
Newsday reports that more than 27,000 households in the region were estimated to be behind on rent as of August, per an analysis from Surgo Ventures. Those households are divided fairly evenly between the counties; Suffolk County has about 700 more renters in arrears than Nassau County.
Fewer than 20 percent of those households have applied for federal relief through the state and only 1,260 households have received aid through these applications, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance reports.
About 4,000 households applied for aid at the local level, but only about 220 have secured assistance, according to Newsday.
Despite the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium, evictions on Long Island have not surged due to the presence of a state moratorium that expires January 15. Newsday reports there have been about 140 evictions in Suffolk County in the past three months and only five in Nassau County all year, through September.
That could change, however, if more relief isn’t provided to residents in the next three months. Help may not be coming anytime soon, as Governor Kathy Hochul shared that the $2.4 billion the state received in federal rent relief wasn’t going to make it through the beginning of October. Requests for more funds have not yet been fulfilled.
Other programs have been trying to fill the gap on Long Island. A program being run by the Community Development Corporation of Long Island is expanding eligibility for a $6 million pot of federal emergency grants. Applicants can now receive three months of prospective rent in addition to three months of back rent.
Only $1.25 million has been distributed from the program so far, assisting at least 200 households and reviewing another 100 cases.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner