Syracuse, N.Y. – Onondaga County will begin taking applications Monday from tenants who need help making up rent payments they missed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The county has $23 million in federal money to give out as rent relief.
Tenants and their landlords are encouraged to apply promptly, because the money likely will not cover everyone who is eligible. County Executive Ryan McMahon today estimated that the money would cover only about one-third to one-half of the need.
The tenant and the landlord from a given property must both apply to receive the benefit. The payments will go directly to landlords.
McMahon said the county will give priority to small landlords who own roughly 20 units or less, but he encouraged all landlords to apply. County officials say the owners of larger apartment complexes are better able to absorb lost rent payments, so they will get a lower priority for assistance payments.
“We’re going to try to address the issue with the smaller landlords first and then address it for the larger landlords second,’’ McMahon said. “Everyone should apply.”
Beginning Monday, the county will post a form on its website, which can be filled out and submitted online.
From two recent federal stimulus bills, Onondaga County received a total of $23 million to distribute as rent relief through the program that will open Monday. The county was able to organize its own program for distributing the funds. In addition, the county also has begun distributing about $4 million received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under more complex rules that have slowed the distribution.