Supervisor Don Clavin, along with the entire Hempstead Town Board, authorized a $22,749,744.50 relief program for the Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. (LIHP) for the creation of an Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program was specifically designed to help the more than 1,500 residents within the Town who are facing housing insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. LIHP will spearhead the initiative and administer the program that will provide assistance to people in need.
Supervisor Clavin today announced the details of the program at Hempstead Town Hall with Peter Elkowitz, President/CEO of Long Island Housing Partnership and James Britz, Executive VP & COO of Long Island Housing Partnership, and was joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver Jeanine Driscoll.
“This is one of various initiatives that has been made possible thanks to the advocacy of Senator Schumer in securing the extension of last year’s funding,” said Supervisor Clavin. “Since the pandemic started, we have seen an increase in both home and food insecurity in our town. Initiatives with the INN, Long Island Harvest, Long Island Cares and now The Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. are essential to help residents and families in the community face the unexpected challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The program can assist with current and prospective rent, arrears for utilities and home energy costs, and other expenses related to housing such as rental security deposits to ensure housing stability. Assistance under this program, could be provided for up to 12 months of payments, with an additional 3 months if necessary to ensure housing stability, and will cover arrears and costs accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
Residents that meet the below criteria are asked to fill out a short interest form at one of the following links:
Those who fill out the interest form will be contacted as soon as the application process officially launches, which is expected this month. It is important for residents to know that this assistance program will work solely on a first-come, first-served basis. The Interest and Intake forms, as well as the Program Guidelines, will be available in English and Spanish.
- Eligible residents must be able to answer yes to the following questions:
- Do you live in the Town of Hempstead as your primary residence?
- Is your household income (from all sources) at or below 80% of the U.S. Department of Urban Development (“HUD”) Area Median Income (“AMI”)?
- Are you at risk of homelessness or housing instability? (e.g. past due utility or rent notices)?
- Has one member of the household (a) qualified for unemployment, (b) had a reduction of income, (c) incurred significant costs, or (d) experienced a financial hardship?
Once the program opens if residents need help filling the intake form out online, there will be resources provided to assist including kiosks, or other locations in the Town of Hempstead where people will assist residents to submit the intake form, or by calling the established Call Center. Furthermore, there will be informational videos for both tenants and landlords on the LIHP website, also in different languages to help respond to any questions should these arise.
“The Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP) is proud to work in partnership with Supervisor Clavin and the Town of Hempstead to provide rental assistance to those low- and moderate- income residents struggling to pay their rent due to COVID-19 impacts,” said Peter Elkowitz, President/CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership.
“The 1st Councilmanic District was hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I urge all residents currently experiencing financial hardship to apply for this important rental assistance program,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby. Added Councilman Blakeman, “Over the past year, the Town of Hempstead has provided millions in federal CARES funds to help community organizations throughout our area. This $22.74 million in federal funds will go a long way toward helping those residents who continue to struggle financially amid the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“As a first responder, I have seen firsthand the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on America’s largest township, and I am proud to join with my colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board to provide this emergency funding for residents in need,” said Councilman D’Esposito. Added Councilman Dunne, “Though the infection rate is declining and New York is reopening, we cannot forget about the many local families who are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic.”
“Many residents have been out of work or had their hours reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program will help keep families in their homes during these challenging times,” said Councilman Muscarella. Added Councilman Carini, “I thank Supervisor Clavin and the Long Island Housing Partnership for their leadership on this important issue that will help families throughout the Town of Hempstead.”
For more information about the Town of Hempstead and its efforts to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses throughout the region, visit https://hempsteadny.gov/.