Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today signed into law legislation (“Nassau County Homeowner Assistance Program” or “HAP”) that will provide direct one-time payments of $375 to up to 400,000 Nassau County homeowners and renters. Households currently receiving Enhanced STAR, Disability & Limited Income, and/or Senior property tax exemptions will receive checks by mail automatically and do not need to file an application. All other households must file an application in order to receive a HAP check.
The Household Assistance Program Portal will be available to residents beginning tomorrow –Thursday October 7 at 9:00AM at NassauCountyNY.Gov/HAP. Households making below $168,900 need only verify income and residency eligibility in their applications with a 2020 tax return. Households making between $168,900 and $500,000 will be required to submit an application with documentation verifying income and a negative economic impact from the pandemic, such as unemployment (e.g., receipt of unemployment benefits during 2020), food or housing insecurity (e.g., receipt of social services benefits, missed mortgage payments, utility arrears, eviction notices), unreimbursed medical bills (e.g., behavioral health costs brought on by the pandemic), increased child-care expenses, COVID 19-related death expenses or unreimbursed remote learning/work expenses including increased internet costs.
The County is fully committed to getting relief checks to eligible residents in a safe and effective manner. A comprehensive FAQ and additional information about obtaining payments will be available at NassauCountyNY.Gov/HAP.
Those with technology issues or who need in-person support will be able to make an appointment through Nassau County’s HAP Call Center beginning Tuesday October 12th by calling 516-571-1555. HAP Support Centers will be located at the Boost Nassau Resource Center, Eisenhower Park; 60 Charles Lindberg Blvd, Uniondale; 40 Main Street, Hempstead; and 1 West Street, Mineola. Additional community outreach efforts will be initiated in the coming weeks to ensure eligible residents are aware of the program.
“As County Executive, I’ve been committed to delivering relief to Nassau residents and businesses as we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Nassau County’s finances are in the best shape they have been in decades thanks to fiscal discipline by my Administration. This has allowed us to push funding from the American Rescue Plan back to our residents and businesses. These direct payments will not only help those who continue to struggle, but also provide a meaningful boost to our local economy. I encourage residents to spend this money in our main streets and support local businesses,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
County Executive Curran filed the Household Assistance Program in July 2021 in order to provide relief to middle and working class residents recovering from the impact of the pandemic. After months of delay by the Legislative Majority, the Nassau County Legislature approved the Household Assistance Program by a vote of 18-1. The Household Assistance Program will be paid for by federal funds from the County’s allotment under the America Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March 2021. The Household Assistance Program was crafted by the Curran Administration following the Interim Final Rule published by the United States Treasury Department, which allows American Rescue Plan recipients such as Nassau County to provide assistance to households or populations facing negative economic impacts due to COVID–19, including cash assistance. In doing so, Nassau County may consider negative economic impacts to households such as those who have experienced unemployment, food insecurity, housing insecurity, or are low- to moderate-income.
The Interim Final Rule, however, does not define low- to moderate-income. Using both the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s (HUD) definition of Area Median Income (AMI) and the New York State Long Island Workforce Housing Act’s qualifying percentage of AMI for affordable workforce housing eligibility as guidance, the County has defined low- to moderate-income for HAP purposes to be up to 130% of HUD AMI for Nassau and Suffolk Counties. That means a household income level up to $168,900 may be considered in the low-to-moderate-income bracket. Consultant HR&A, Inc. concluded this is an appropriate basis for HAP.
“I fought hard to deliver over $380 million in COVID relief aid to Nassau County, and I’m glad that County Executive Laura Curran is putting some of this money directly back into the pockets of residents who have experienced a challenging 18-months due to the pandemic. Through County Executive Curran’s Household Assistance Program, individuals and families across Nassau can use these payments to pay tuition, make long-delayed home repairs, support local restaurants and businesses, and more,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer.
“The Nassau County Homeowner Assistance Program will utilize funding from the American Rescue Plan to provide cash directly into the pockets of Long Island’s families,” said U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice. “I commend County Executive Curran for launching this program to help households across Nassau still struggling with the unprecedented economic impacts of the pandemic, and I thank the County Legislature for approving it.”
“Today’s action is a testament to County Executive Curran’s strong fiscal management through the pandemic, which positioned us to return $100 million directly to taxpayers,” said Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams. “As Nassau families continue to struggle with economic hardships caused by the pandemic, I am glad that these checks will soon be in the hands of our residents.”
“Today marks the culmination of a months-long effort by County Executive Curran and the Minority Caucus to put money back in the hands of Nassau residents as they continue to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. My only regret is that the Legislature took so long to approve this common-sense approach to aiding our seniors, our veterans, and so many more Nassau County residents,” said Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé.
“These checks are nothing to scoff at – they will help working- and middle-class families stock up on groceries, purchase school supplies for their children and pay bills they may have fallen behind on during the pandemic. From day one, County Executive Curran has been all about doing what’s right for people, and her tenacity in advocating for direct relief payments is yet another example of her exemplary and steady leadership throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker.
“Nassau County’s working families will now have the financial assistance they need, thanks to County Executive Laura Curran. These payments will ensure homeowners can afford necessities they may have struggled to afford before such as groceries or school supplies for their children. Not only will Nassau County’s working families benefit from this plan, but our county’s local economies will too. After a year of economic hardship, it’s a relief to see our County Executive fighting for working families who have already been through so much.” – John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW and the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
“When I told Seniors sharing a hot meal at my community center about the check they will be receiving, they were so excited and grateful. This has been such a difficult time for our Seniors and other vulnerable residents. With the price of food and other items rising, this check will mean so much to so many. Thank you County Executive Curran,” said Margarita Grasing, Executive Director at Hispanic Brotherhood.
“I am delighted that County Executive’s relief proposal has been approved because we want to get our economy going, and an extra bit of money in people’s pockets will help our local businesses,” said Belinda Watkins, Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Director.