The pace of aid distribution for people who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 has picked up in the last several weeks, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Tuesday said, with more money going out the door to tenants behind on their rent and undocumented immigrants who did not qualify for federal stimulus checks.
Hochul has made the aid distribution one of her early promises after taking office on Aug. 24 following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In the last three weeks, money that is part of the state's emergency rental assistance program has doubled in distribution, reaching $399 million. The money distributed is meant to make landlords whole amid a moratorium on evictions that was extended by state lawmakers last month to Jan. 15.
Landlord organizations are challenging the moratorium extension in court, and others have raised concerns the existing money won't be enough to full recoup losses.
Meanwhile, more than $1 billion in funding from the Excluded Workers Program meant to provide financial support for undocumented immigrants has been distributed since that law took effect this summer.
"When I was sworn in as Governor just three weeks ago today, I made it clear that my top priority was to accelerate getting relief money out the door as quickly as possible to New Yorkers struggling from the economic devastation of the pandemic," Hochul said. "While we are ramping up those efforts, our work still isn't done. We will continue to provide critical assistance to excluded workers, pandemic-affected households that have fallen behind on their rent, and the landlords who saw their rental income drop significantly during the global health crisis."