With NY rent relief funds exhausted, Binghamton officials urge residents to apply for local aid

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(Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG)—The City of Binghamton has continued to issue rent relief to residents facing pandemic hardship, with roughly $620,000 left to distribute.

The municipal relief program was funded by the CARES Act in 2020, which allocated close to $1 million for rental assistance to the city. It’s separate from New York state’s federally-funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which officials said has been exhausted.

Binghamton Deputy Mayor Megan Heiman said residents still looking for aid could receive up to a year’s worth of rent from the city. That includes up to nine months of rent arrears, up from a previous three-month limit, and three months of future rent payments.

“Now that the eviction moratorium has lifted, if you’re worried about losing your home or you’re not sure what’s going to come next, there are funds available,” Heiman said.

In a statement Thursday, the mayor’s office urged residents to call the 211 helpline to start an application.

According to Heiman, 68 households have received payments from the city since the program opened in the summer of 2020. Residents who already received assistance can reapply.

Homeowners are also eligible for help with mortgage payments, taxes and utilities.

The Family Enrichment Network (FEN) has been helping the city administer the funds. Chastity McEwen, the organization’s director of housing and community services, told WSKG in August that applicants awarded aid also get three months of supportive services from the agency, like food assistance and child care.

New York’s eviction and foreclosure moratoria expired on Jan. 15.

WSKG wants to share the stories of residents facing eviction or foreclosure in the Southern Tier. Reach out to WSKG housing reporter Jillian Forstadt at jforstadt@wskg.org