COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on New York City, the City of New York and HPD have developed a list of resources for those seeking assistance.

Please visit nyc.gov/coronavirus for more information and a list of citywide resources or call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).

Housing Resources

For housing resources and HPD service updates, please see the list below and check back for frequent updates. For additional resources, visit the Housing Resource Portal.

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Affordable Housing Seekers

NYC Housing Connect
We have launched a new version of NYC Housing Connect. Learn more about the new website and continue to find and apply for affordable housing units at nyc.gov/housingconnect.

To help us do everything we can to move New Yorkers into affordable housing as quickly as possible, we have made several changes to the lottery process. Please see the Housing Connect Application Guides webpage for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Application Resources
Housing Ambassadors are community-based service providers who help people prepare and apply for NYC Housing Connect affordable housing lotteries. Please email or call the organization in your community to learn more about what services they're offering at this time. Office locations may be changing their hours or offering services over the phone.

Free financial counseling through Ready to Rent will continue by phone. Our financial counselors will help you check your credit, calculate your income for housing applications, and save for moving expenses.

Tenants

New York City renters, you have rights!
Free legal advice and counsel is available for New York City residential renters. To access these services, please call 311 and ask for the "Tenant Helpline", visit the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' Information and Resources for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 webpage, or fill out their Contact Us form.

Emergency Cash Assistance

One-Shot Deal

  • If your work schedule was reduced as a result of the coronavirus and you are unable to pay your rent, you can apply for a Cash Assistance special grant request to get benefits for emergencies. Learn more about One-Shot Deals. If you have an active Cash Assistance case, visit ACCESS HRA.

Financial Resources for Tenants

Evictions
Eviction restrictions protect most tenants from eviction through May 1, 2021. For more information about how these eviction protections might apply to you, contact the City's Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and saying "Tenant Helpline."

Under a State law called the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Act, you can prevent your landlord from evicting you if you have lost income or increased expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic or if moving from your home would pose a hardship during the pandemic. To be protected under this law, you must sign a "Hardship Declaration" and deliver it to your landlord. The Hardship Declaration form is available in English and Spanish at: nycourts.gov/covid-eefpa.shtml. If you sign and deliver the Hardship Declaration, you cannot be evicted from your primary residence pursuant to a pending case, and your landlord may not file a new case to evict you from your primary residence, until at least May 1, 2021. You may proactively complete a Hardship Declaration and return it to your landlord whether or not a case is pending against you.

If you are at risk of eviction, or if you want up-to-date information about the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Act, the eviction moratorium, and Housing Court, please visit the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) or Housing Court Answers.

Visit the NYC Tenant Resource Portal, the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions.

You can learn about the facts and resources available to you in the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) Eviction Prevention Brochure, which was created in partnership with HPD, NYCHA, HDC, HRA, and the office of Civil Justice.

Homelessness Prevention
If you are at imminent risk of entering the New York City shelter system, visit Homebase or call 311 and ask for "Homebase." Homebase locations are currently closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, however services are still available by phone.

Tenant Protection
It is unlawful to discriminate against a tenant based on their status as someone impacted by COVID-19. The New York City Council passed Intro No. 1936-a (Local Law 56 of 2020) to amend the definition of harassment in the Housing Maintenance Code to include threats against an individual based on their actual or perceived status as a COVID-19 impacted person, status as an essential employee, or receipt of a rental concession or forbearance or rent owed during the pandemic. 

Free legal advice and counsel is available for New York City residential renters. To access these services, please call 311 and ask for the "Tenant Helpline", visit the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' Information and Resources for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 webpage, or fill out their Contact Us form.

Visit Housing Court Answers for COVID-19 information about Housing Court.

Landlord-Tenant Mediation
The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project is designed to resolve housing-related issues that have arisen as a result of COVID-19. The Project helps tenants and landlords create an agreement outside of Housing Court to resolve issues that include but are not limited to unpaid rent, lease concerns, or move outs.

To connect with the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project, please call 311 and ask for the "Tenant Helpline", or visit the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' Information and Resources for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 webpage for more information.

Report a Complaint
New Yorkers should continue to report housing code violations to 311. HPD's Housing Inspectors are conducting inspections in response to complaints, prioritizing hazardous complaints including lack of hot water, lack of essential services, mold, lead-based paint and window guards, and reinspections in response to property owner requests.

Utility Arrears
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and tenants pay for utility and heating bills. Visit HRA's HEAP webpage for more information.

Seniors

The City of New York wants to make sure you have access to free services and support from the safety of your home. Help is available. For a complete list of services, visit nyc.gov/agingcovid.

Food Assistance
Sign up for free pick-up meals and emergency home food delivery at nyc.gov/getfood or call 311 to learn more.

Health and Wellbeing
Get help with feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, or fear:

  • Coping tips: nyc.gov/nycwell
  • Free 24/7 crisis counseling and mental health support: 1-888-NYC-WELL or text "WELL" to 65173
  • Guide to mental health services available while staying home: nyc.gov/thrivenyc

Get Help with Medicare: Call Aging Connect at 212-244-6469
Stay connected with free recurring social check-in calls from a volunteer: Call Aging Connect at 212-244-6469

Safety
If you do not feel safe at home, or if you feel pressured, bullied, or scared by anyone:

  • Call the Aging's Resource Center at 212-442-3101 (9am-5pm)
  • Call NYC Hope's Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 (24 hours)
  • Call 911 in an emergency

Protect Your Money

Additional Support

  • Utilities cannot be shut off for missing payments during the COVID-19 crisis: Call 311 or visit HRA's Energy Assistance webpage
  • Apply to receive benefits while staying home, including the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Cash Assistance (CA): HRA Benefits webpage
  • Low-income NYC residents may be eligible for up to $900 in financial assistance to cover funeral expenses: Visit Burial Assistance webpage

Landlords / Property Managers

COVID-19 Flyers
We ask all building owners and property managers that work with HPD to prominently display the most up to date COVID-19 flyers in your buildings. The most recent flyer was updated on March 15th and is translated into 22 additional languages. They can be found at nyc.gov/coronavirus.

Building Safety
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has provided guidance for general building disinfection.

For your safety and the safety of your tenants, it is critical that you:

  • Keep any common area bathrooms stocked with soap and paper towels.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces.
  • Take precautions if you need to enter tenant apartments.

Residential Buildings Guidance
DOHMH has compiled a list of faqs for residential buildings.

This guidance is appropriate for buildings with self-contained residence units (not shared kitchens or common living spaces), and buildings with maintenance staff and/or providers supporting the social and health needs of the residents.

This guidance is important to review and implement for buildings with ANY senior populations.

Congregate Buildings Guidance
DOHMH has compiled guidance for congregate buildings.

This guidance is appropriate for buildings with shared spaces residents employ for cooking, shared living space, and social congregating, and buildings with maintenance staff and/or providers supporting the social and health needs of the resident.

This guidance is important to review and implement for buildings with ANY senior populations.

HPD Borough Offices
All HPD borough offices are temporarily closed to encourage social distancing and help keep New Yorkers safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). For assistance from borough office staff, please contact the appropriate borough office by phone or email.

Landlord Responsibilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Landlords must continue to maintain essential services. During the pandemic landlords continue to be responsible for maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences.
  • It is unlawful to discriminate against a tenant based on their status as someone impacted by COVID-19. City Council passed Intro No. 1936-A (Local Law 56 of 2020) to amend the definition of harassment in the Housing Maintenance Code to include threats against an individual based on their actual or perceived status as a COVID-19 impacted person, status as an essential employee, or receipt of a rental concession or forbearance of rent owed during the pandemic. Harassment is punishable by a civil penalty of $2,000 to $10,000. 

Rent Collection during the eviction moratorium

  • The eviction moratorium in New York does not affect a tenant’s obligation to pay rent that is due or cancel debt created by a tenant’s failure to pay rent. Landlords can still collect rent as scheduled, and if tenants can pay their rent, they should continue to do so. However, enforcement is impacted during the pandemic in accordance with the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA) and under an order from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • New York State allows renters who qualify for unemployment insurance/benefits or are otherwise facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as a payment or rent and to repay their security deposit over time.
  • If your tenants are facing hardship due to COVID-19, there are financial resources available to tenants who meet certain criteria to help cover rent (See "Financial Resources for Tenants" tab below).
  • A voluntary payment plan is an option allowing a tenant to repay past due rent over time without court action. Sample templates for such agreements may be available from membership organizations.
  • On June 17, 2020, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board voted to freeze rent increases on one-year leases commencing on or after October 1, 2020 and through September 30, 2021 for rent-stabilized apartments. View the official Rent Guidelines Board order for more information, including the allowable rent increases for two-year leases for rent stabilized apartments commencing during the same period.
  • Housing Court Answers provides useful COVID information about New York City Housing Court.
  • If you are concerned about communicating with tenants about overdue rent, accepting partial payment of rent, entering into payments plans or other issues related to rent collection during the pandemic, you may consider consulting with an attorney.

HUD Guidance
For general guidance from HUD for housing providers, visit hud.gov/coronavirus.

Financial Assistance and Mortgage Forbearance
See the "Property Owners" tab below for other resources pertaining to all property owners, including information on financial resources and mortgage forbearance.

Property Owners

Financial Assistance for Owners

All owners:

  • Department of Finance (DOF) Payment Plan: If you have overdue property taxes, you may be eligible to set up a payment plan to pay what you owe in installments instead of all at once. Download the DOF Payment Plan application.
  • Property Tax and Interest Deferral Plan (PT AID Plan): If you own a Tax Class 1 property (DOF provides Tax Class definitions on its website), are experiencing hardship, and have fallen behind on your property taxes or are in danger of falling behind, you may be eligible for a DOF Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) plan. Like a standard payment plan, PT AID plans allow an owner to pay overdue property taxes in multiple installments, but because it considers an applicant’s income and ability to pay, scheduled payments may be lower and may come with the option to defer under certain circumstances. To learn more about PT AID, visit the Property Tax and Interest Deferral Program page.
  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Payment Agreement: If you have overdue water or sewer bills, you may be eligible to enter into a NYC DEP Payment Agreement (PA) that allows eligible customers to gradually pay off debt. Owners entering into a NYC DEP Payment Agreement for the first time or those who have satisfied a PA in the past may enter into a new PA by visiting any of the DEP Borough Offices in person or contacting their customer service for assistance at 718-595-7000 or via email.
  • The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): HEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and tenants pay for utility and heating bills.
  • Con Edison Energy Saving Incentive Program: Rebates on specific energy saving measures to make your building more energy efficient are available for multifamily buildings and for homeowners.
  • National Grid Energy Saving Incentive Program: Rebates on specific energy saving measures to make your building more energy efficient.
  • 2020 Emergency Summer Cooling Credits: If you’re enrolled in the Con Edison Low Income Discount program, you’ll get a credit on your summer energy bills automatically to help with the cost of running your air-conditioning as you stay home because of COVID-19.
  • HPD Preservation Programs: Owners of one- to four-family owner-occupied homes may also be eligible to receive funding for plumbing and electrical issues, heating/hot water system, roof leaks and replacement, home accessibility needs, emergency repairs, and lead-based paint remediation through existing HPD preservation programs.
  • Property Insurance: Learn more about New York State Department of Financial Services property and casualty insurance relief for New York State consumers and small businesses experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Reduce your home internet service cost with a discount for qualified New York City residents through the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

Landlords only:

  • New York Forward Loan Fund: NYFLF is a new Empire State Development loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and New York on PAUSE.
  • HPD Preservation Programs: HPD can help multifamily buildings finance moderate to substantial rehabilitation to address high utility costs and real estate taxes as well as necessary boiler/heating, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, mold, roof, lead-based paint, windows, and building envelope/exterior work.
  • Section 8: Owners with vacancies interested in renting to households with rental subsidies can list vacancies at GoSection8. Learn more about HPD's Section 8 and Rental Subsidy Programs and NYCHA’s Section 8 program.

Financial Assistance for Owners through Mortgage Forbearance:

  • Property owners impacted by COVID-19 hardship may be eligible for temporary relief through their mortgage servicer, including loans owned or guaranteed by a federal agency such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Contact your mortgage servicer to discuss options.
    • You can find out if your mortgage/loan is owned or guaranteed by a government entity by either checking through the entity’s website (e.g., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), or by checking your monthly loan statement or the HUD-1 Settlement Statement you received when you purchased your home.
  • If you have a mortgage with HPD or HDC, you may be eligible for a mortgage forbearance based on demonstrated need. Please contact your asset manager at HPD or HDC to ask for a forbearance request survey and to discuss your options and requisite procedures. If you do not know who your HPD asset manager is, please email Anthony Norberto at norberta@hpd.nyc.gov. If you are unsure who to contact at HDC, please email mortgageassistance@nychdc.com.

Foreclosure

  • New York Banking Law Section 9-x was passed and became effective immediately on June 17, 2020. The law requires regulated institutions (any regulated banking organization or any New York regulated servicer) to make applications for forbearances available to mortgagors of a home loan as such term is defined in RPAPL 1304 (i.e., owner occupied 1-4 family dwellings), as well as to cooperative and condominium owner-occupied units, that are in arrears during the “covered period,” defined in the statute as March 7, 2020 until the date on which none of the provisions that closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to apply in the county of the qualified mortgagor’s residence.” The statute allows for the potential granting of forbearances of payments due with respect to such mortgage secured by the qualified mortgagor’s primary residence in New York for a period of up to one hundred eighty days, with the option to possibly extend the forbearance of such monthly payments for up to an additional one hundred eighty days provided that this extension is subject to the mortgagor demonstrating continued financial hardship. Section 9-x of the Banking Law provides for the qualifying Mortgagor to be offered one of the following options with respect to such forbearance:
    • (a) the mortgagor shall have the option to extend the term of the loan for the length of the period of forbearance. The regulated institution shall not charge additional interest or any late fees or penalties on the forborne payment; or
    • (b) the mortgagor shall have the option to have the arrears accumulated during the forbearance period payable on a monthly basis for the remaining term of the loan without being subject to penalties or late fees incurred as a result of the forbearance; or
    • (c) the mortgagor shall have the option to negotiate a loan modification or any other option that meets the changed circumstances of the qualified mortgagor; or
    • (d) if the mortgagor and regulated institution cannot reasonably agree on a mutually acceptable loan modification, the regulated institution shall offer to defer arrears accumulated during the forbearance period as a non-interest bearing balloon loan payable at the maturity of the loan, or at the time the loan is satisfied through a refinance or sale of the property. Any late fees accumulated as a result of the forbearance shall be waived.
    • (e) The exercising of options provided for in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this subdivision by a qualified mortgagor shall not be reported negatively to any credit bureau by any regulated institution.
  • You should consult with an attorney to determine the impact of Section 9-X of Banking Law on your situation.
  • New York State’s Executive Order 204.28 prohibits until August 20, 2020 (unless otherwise extended) the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for non-payment of such mortgage if the property is owned by someone eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Consult with a legal professional to determine the impacts of this Executive Order on your portfolio.
  • If your property was in foreclosure prior to the pandemic/protection orders, you may be eligible to stay the foreclosure process during the moratorium. Contact your mortgage servicer to discuss options.

Legal Resources for Estate Planning
There are several legal organizations providing pro bono legal services for qualifying cases in New York City where there are COVID-19-related estate issues. For more information on these pro bono services, visit the organizations’ websites:

Additional Resources for Property Owners

Tips for Staying Safe at Home

During the COVID-19 crisis, the City of New York wants to make sure you have access to free services and support from the safety of your home. Help is available:

Food Assistance
If you are worried about your ability to get food, free pick-up meals are available for all, and some New Yorkers may qualify for assisted home delivery. Visit nyc.gov/getfood or call 311 to learn more.

Mental Health
An infection illness outbreak such as COVID-19 can be stressful. It's natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or afraid. For help coping, visit the NYC Well website at nyc.gov/nycwell. If your symptoms become overwhelming, you can speak with a counselor 24/7 by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL or texting "WELL" to 65173.

Safety in Your Home
If you do not feel safe at home, or if you feel pressured, bullied, or scared by anyone, there are resources available. NYC has a 24-hour Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-621-4673 or visit nyc.gov/nychope. Seniors can also call the NYC Department for the Aging's Resource Center at 1-212-422-3101 between 9am and 5pm.

HPD Service Updates

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COVID-19 Policies and Protocols

For details on agency policies and protocols related to COVID-19, please visit the HPD Agency Restart Plan page.

Section 8

Visit the Division of Tenant Resources' COVID-19 Accommodations webpage for more information.

Mitchell-Lama

Extension of Income Affidavit Filing
As a result of these difficult times, we have adjusted the Income Affidavit timeframes in order to remain committed to supporting the residents and professionals in the Mitchell Lama community. Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, HPD is making the following changes for the 2019 Income Affidavits:

  • The deadline for residents to file is now extended to July 31, 2020
  • Income Affidavits do not have to be notarized this year
  • Managing agents will calculate surcharges based on the 2019 Income Affidavits that will take effect September 1, 2020
  • Current surcharges remain in effect until September 1, 2020
  • Tenants/shareholders who have experienced either long term or short-term changes in income, may apply at any time for an interim change in income pursuant to Mitchell-Lama Rule 3-03
  • Mitchell-Lama managing agents, board of directors, and attorneys should have received this communication on March 30, 2020 in order to inform residents of this extended deadline.

 

SCRIE Program

Attention all seniors: Effective March 16, 2020, the SCRIE unit at HPD will be closed to the public until further notice. We are taking steps to protect our staff, clients, customers, partners and the New Yorkers who rely on us, while continuing to perform our work. 

Seniors can email or mail their applications to HPD:

  • Questions and documents can be emailed to: scrie@hpd.nyc.gov
  • Documents may also be mailed to:
    SCRIE Unit
    100 Gold Street
    Rm 7M-3
    New York, NY 10038

HPD will continue to process reinstatements and new applications accordingly. In the event this process is delayed, HPD will issue retroactive SCRIE payments on behalf of seniors that are determined to be eligible for the program. As the impact of COVID-19 evolves, HPD will continue to evolve its policies to keep our staff and the New Yorkers we interact with as informed and safe as possible.

HPD Inspections and Violations

HPD is still conducting inspections and responding to emergency violations and orders. We are also continuing to respond to tenants and owners who continue to seek our help and doing everything possible to continue to provide administrative support for all services.

As always, landlords and their agents should make every effort to correct immediately hazardous violations like lack of heat, hot water, water, or electricity and defective sanitary facilities.

Landlords should correct all violations as soon as possible and then certify such corrective action, either by mail or by using eCertification. Late certifications can only be completed by mail; we encourage you to submit these as well. You can also seek a postponement for the correction of some violations. Review the back of your Notice of Violation, Certification instructions, or our Clearing HPD Violations FAQ for more information on clearing violations. You can also call a Borough Service Center for more information. For specific details about certification of lead-based paint violations, see the Lead-Based Paint webpage. For specific details about certification of mold violations, see the Indoor Allergen Hazards webpage.

Currently, as a result of changes in operations due to COVID-19, please be advised that any Dismissal Request applications submitted in March 2020 or later will have a reinspection scheduled in the order that the request was received. We encourage all owners whose HPD violation record (which you can review using HPDONLINE) does not reflect actual building conditions to file for a Dismissal Request.

Disability Services

For questions about HPD disability services, contact Andrew Lange, HPD Disability Services Facilitator at accessibility@hpd.nyc.gov.

Emergency Housing Services

Intake and registration are suspended. If you have been displaced from your home as a result of a vacate order or a fire incident and need shelter, please contact the American National Red Cross at 1-877-733-2767. Please contact your assigned Case Manager for services. If you have trouble contacting your Case Manager, call 212-863-6770 or email ehs-remote@hpd.nyc.gov.

This publication is intended for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice. This information is not a complete or final statement of all the responsibilities and rights of owners and tenants regarding laws and rules relating to housing in New York City.