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New program offers housing assistance to Erie County residents

The new program will provide a grant of up to $1,500 a month to cover rent or mortgage, which will be paid directly to the tenant's landlord or mortgage holder.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new program was recently announced that will help Erie County residents keep a roof over their heads during the pandemic.

The new program, created by the Live Well Erie Emergency Housing Task Force, is aimed at assisting tenants, homeowners and landlords who have been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.  This program will provide temporary housing assistance for up to five months to people who have been laid off, furloughed, had a workplace close or have had a wage earner unable to work due to contracting COVID-19. The program also helps people who were forced to take time off from work to serve as a primary caregiver for a person who contracted COVID-19. 

The funds for the program are being provided by the CARES Act and are intended for people who are currently behind on housing payments. 

"Extending this critical aid to homeowners and renters is another way we are working to help individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic here in Erie County," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  "The virus’ impacts have been felt countywide and across every sector, so just as we have acted to help school districts, businesses, children and caregivers we are acting today to help working families and individuals keep a roof over their heads.”

The program will provide grants of up to $1,500 per month and a maximum of $3,500 per qualifying household. The grant will be paid directly to the landlord or mortgage holder. 

To qualify for the program, applicants must be an Erie County resident, provide proof of tenancy or mortgage, have an annual household income at or below 85% of State Median Income before the pandemic and applicants must provide proof of an income reduction due to COVD after March 16, 2020. 

“This has been an effort that has been shaped by a cross-section of community providers including legal advocates, housing advocates, faith leaders, municipalities, foundations, the University of Buffalo, housing service providers, and more all working in conjunction with the Live Well  Erie Emergency Housing Taskforce,” said Commissioner of Social Services Marie Cannon. “We have been working diligently to enhance eviction diversion strategies, develop a centralized intake system and provide financial assistance to families impacted by COVID-19 and our team approach will benefit the entire community.” 

For more information about the program, click here. To apply for assistance, click here or call 211.

RELATED: Erie County forms task force to help those with COVID-19 housing issues