Please note that the information provided below was last updated on December 29, 2020. We will update the FAQs as the situation around COVID-19 develops.
Q. How is NYCHA informing residents about COVID-19 and other policy updates related to the state of emergency?
A. NYCHA is informing residents about COVID-19 updates through emails from NYCHA Chair Greg Russ and General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo, direct phone calls, robocalls, notices posted in buildings, push notifications from the MyNYCHA app, and updates on NYCHA websites and social media. NYCHA has also been in contact with over 200 Tenant Association presidents.
NYCHA asks that residents stay connected by checking The NYCHA Journal website frequently, downloading the MyNYCHA app and joining our social media community by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and connecting with us on LinkedIn.
Q. What languages is COVID-19 information available to residents?
A. Resident communications are translated into NYCHA’s five covered languages: English Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Russian. We are also translating public notices into eight additional languages including: Arabic, French, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Urdu, Yiddish, Polish.
Q. Has NYCHA implemented a telework policy for eligible employees?
A. We have implemented and notified all staff of NYCHA’s Emergency Telework Policy, as well as guidance from the DOHMH on best practices for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We continue to amend this policy as we receive updated information and directives from State and local officials.
While NYCHA’s central offices remain open to essential staff, we currently have more than 2,000 staff members working from home. We have roughly 9,000 staff who are working hard on-site and in offices to provide essential and emergency services for our 316 developments and more than 400,000 residents.
To supplement essential staff at NYCHA developments, we have hired 750 per diem Caretakers: (348) 49 percent are NYCHA residents, and (356) 51 percent are non-residents.
Q. What protections are in place for essential NYCHA staff required to report to work?
A. According to the latest NYC DOHMH guidance, respirators (N95, N100 masks) are not recommended to protect NYCHA personnel from the spread of COVID-19 while performing their assignments. This equipment is currently only required for healthcare professionals (such as doctors and nurses) providing care to patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Staff are advised to maintain social distancing—6 or more feet—and good hand hygiene while performing duties during this crisis.
Per Executive Order 202.16, effective April 15, 2020, and DCAS Commissioner Directive 2020-1, all essential workers, including NYCHA essential workers, must be provided and wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, including residents or other NYCHA staff members.
NYCHA is providing face coverings capable of covering the mouth and nose to all staff conducting work in NYCHA developments and Central Office locations where staff may come into direct contact with any other staff member or members of the public, including residents.
This requirement applies to any NYCHA business location – offices, maintenance offices, unoccupied apartments where staff may be performing moveout work – where there is the potential for NYCHA staff members to be within six feet or less of another staff member.
The purpose of this face covering is to prevent its wearer from potentially spreading COVID-19 to others, but is not considered PPE for the wearer or a substitute for social distancing and hand hygiene.
Per April 2, 2020 guidance from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), people who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering can be an extra protection to help prevent the wearer from spreading COVID-19 to other people, so they are recommended for everyone when they leave their home. Staff performing any task are encouraged to follow this recommendation as an additional protective measure to help ensure that they are not unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to fellow staff members or residents.
Per Executive Order effective April 17, 2020, any individual, including NYCHA residents, over the age of 2 and able to medically tolerate a face covering will be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance of at least six feet. This includes public spaces and public areas at NYCHA developments, such as hallways, elevators, lobbies, building entrance areas, management offices, playgrounds (which are currently closed), seating areas, and pathways.
A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves, bandanas, or other cloth coverings.
Q. What is NYCHA doing to sanitize developments and protect residents from COVID-19?
A. The sanitizing and disinfecting treatment schedule that we have implemented for NYCHA's 2,200 buildings goes above DOHMH, State, and national guidance and focus on frequently touched areas.
Since October, NYCHA has been sanitizing all 69 senior buildings seven times a week and began sanitizing all buildings daily beginning in November. Prior to this, senior buildings were sanitized five times a week and all other buildings three times a week. View the full sanitizing schedule here: https://on.nyc.gov/cleaning-schedule.
NYCHA’s daily sanitizing efforts are concentrated in high-touch, high-traffic areas - lobby and common area doors; mailboxes; stairway doors, handles and handrails; elevator panels and trash chute doors; and other common areas - throughout our 2,200 buildings.
Our caretakers continue to perform grounds maintenance, including waste removal.
For more information about our vendors, the disinfecting products and the sanitizing schedule, please go to: on.nyc.gov/nycha-disinfects-its-buildings.
Q. Will NYCHA continue planned heat, hot water, and water outages during this time?
A. Planned outages have resumed at NYCHA developments, which includes annual preventative maintenance and capital improvement work. Planned outages are important for the health and safety of NYCHA residents because they help preserve equipment and infrastructure. Due to COVID-19, this important maintenance was delayed, but resumed during the week of July 13.
Residents at each of the affected developments are notified of the planned outages through robocalls and signs and posters at their developments. The average length of these outages is approximately eight hours. Information about outages is also posted on NYCHA’s Outages Dashboard and social media channels.
Q. Will COVID-19 impact repair and maintenance work at developments?
A. NYCHA is working diligently to ensure adequate staffing levels and continuous basic and emergency services at all our developments during the state of emergency. Our caretakers continue to perform grounds maintenance, including waste removal.
Q. Is NYCHA scheduling and performing repairs inside of apartments?
A. NYCHA staff has and will continue to respond to and perform emergency maintenance and repair requests in apartments during most of the COVID-19 pandemic. In September and October, NYCHA began expanding the work that employees perform inside of residents’ apartments for some health and safety related non-emergency work such as extermination, broken windows, lead paint assessments, leaks, kitchen appliances and other items, while we further enhanced our safety protocols across the Authority. We will continue to keep residents informed regarding the expanded work that can be conducted in occupied units.
NYCHA employees ask residents three health screening questions over the telephone prior to the appointment or at the door before entering the apartment:
Staff performing work in apartments will wear a face covering such as a surgical/dust mask. All residents over the age of 2 must wear a face covering for the duration of the time NYCHA staff are working in the apartment, unless they isolate themselves in a separate room with the door closed or leave the apartment while work is being performed. Staff will bring extra masks to distribute to residents, if needed. If a resident refuses to maintain a distance of at least six feet and/or refuses to wear a face covering during the course of the work, staff will leave the unit and reschedule the appointment. If a resident is not feeling well, and the appointment is not an emergency, staff will leave the unit and reschedule the appointment.
After a NYCHA employee enters a unit, they will define a work area, advise the resident of the work area, and adhere to strict occupancy requirements within that work area based on the size of the room where the repair is being conducted. Residents and other occupants will not be permitted in the work area for the duration of the work.
Staff may open a window within the unit to increase ventilation during the repair.
Prior to and after completing work within an apartment, staff will use cleaning and disinfection supplies to wipe down any common surfaces touched during the completion of the work order.
Q. What is considered emergency maintenance and repairs?
A. Emergency maintenance and repair requests include no heat and hot water conditions, water leaks, gas leaks or smell, flooding conditions, stoppages, electrical issues, interior rat infestations, high severity bed bug or mice infestations, and other hazardous conditions. We will also respond to work orders to correct the following specific conditions:
Q. How can NYCHA residents request emergency repairs?
A. Residents can call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771 to request an emergency repair. Trained representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents may also submit emergency repair requests through the MyNYCHA app.
Q. What if a resident has an apartment inspection or maintenance request scheduled?
A. In September and October, we began expanding the work that NYCHA employees perform inside of residents’ apartments for some health and safety related non-emergency work such as extermination, broken windows, lead paint assessments, leaks, kitchen appliances and other items, while we further enhanced our safety protocols across the Authority. We will notify residents when staff will respond to non-emergency repairs and work will be conducted in occupied units.
Q. What are other circumstances under which NYCHA staff will enter apartments?
A. NYCHA is performing certain critical work orders generated as a result of a court order, a commissioner order to abate or other violation, or through our own compliance process.
NYCHA is continuing to enter residents’ apartments to conduct lead remediation and collect dust wipe samples, only in units in the 92 developments where we presume there is lead-based paint and a child under six resides or visits and/or have a positive XRF test result at any development, regardless of whether a child under six resides or visits.
We are also conducting mold inspections and, if mold conditions are found, the necessary remediation and repair work. Paint related to mold conditions is suspended.
Furthermore, we are responding to, and follow-up on any interior rat infestations, and previously identified high severity infestations of bed bugs or mice.
Q. Will NYCHA staff enter the apartment in case of an emergency?
A. NYCHA staff may need to enter an apartment with the assistance of the local NYPD Police Service Area (PSA) or other first responders if a resident is in danger or immediate action is required because of a safety concern, such as shutting down a gas line. NYCHA must put the safety of residents first, and these actions are necessary to protect the NYCHA community.
Q. What if a NYCHA staff member or a NYCHA resident is not feeling well when there is a scheduled appointment in a resident’s unit?
A. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, NYCHA has been advising staff to make a risk assessment about entering or doing work in the apartment by asking key questions. NYCHA staff visiting residents’ apartments to perform the above-mentioned services and repairs will take precautionary measures before entering, including wearing a face covering, asking residents about their health, and maintaining social distance – six or more feet – from other individuals in the apartment.
While residents are not required to wear a face covering in their homes, staff will ask residents to wear a face covering for the duration of the repair.
Additionally, we have advised residents to ask staff members about their health, before allowing entrance into their apartments.
If any member of the household is not feeling well, NYCHA is requesting that family members remain in a separate room with the door closed, until the repair is completed. If a separate room is not available, staff will ask the resident to wear a face covering and maintain at least a six-foot distance from each other, until the repair is completed. Staff may also open a window within the unit to increase ventilation during the repair.
Staff are encouraged to use their best judgement when performing in-unit work. If the resident chooses not to allow a staff member into their apartment, or follow these instructions, staff will work with their supervisor to reschedule the appointment for a later date.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with access to food?
A. Through NYCHA’s Community Engagement & Partnerships Department, we have made 127,032 phone calls, and made successful connection with 47,874 of our most vulnerable households including seniors and residents with disabilities, to review the precautions regarding COVID-19 and to connect households with food, medicine, health insurance, medical equipment, and mental health resources. We are also sending mailers to every household with relevant COVID-19 resources and information.
Since the start of the pandemic, NYCHA has been working with our partners, resident leaders, home health and other service providers, to ensure that residents, including our most vulnerable seniors and residents with disabilities, have access to food. Through NYCHA’s Community Engagement & Partnerships Department, NYCHA partnered with Food Bank NYC to establish 16 Pop-Up food distribution days on NYCHA campuses across the city.
From April to September, NYCHA worked with partners to coordinate bulk food distribution to homebound older adults and disabled residents. NYCHA hired 36 seasonal workers to help distribute food, and provided bulk food distribution to residents at 34 developments from May through the end of August. A total of 1,707,921 meals were delivered to NYCHA residents through the bulk meals program. As part of the City’s plan to combat COVID-19 at NYCHA, announced on in late April, all residents in senior buildings would be enrolled in the GetFoodNYC home food delivery program.
The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) is providing meal delivery services from NYCHA and other DFTA-operated senior centers. NYCHA has also reached out to seniors and Resident Association leaders through direct communications, and through all of our communications platforms, to encourage residents to sign up for the City’s Emergency Home Food Delivery program (nyc.gov/getfood). The program is for residents who are homebound, have increased medical risk, and cannot get groceries. The initiative provides emergency food deliveries for eligible residents. Residents can find out if they qualify at this link. We are also asking home health and other service providers, family and friends to safely assist those in need to sign up for meal delivery.
Sixty NYCHA staff members were trained to become Authorized Enrollers, able to enroll seniors directly into the City’s Emergency Home Food Delivery program.
Anyone in need of food can call 311 or visit NYC – COVID-19 Food Assistance. NYCHA residents may also email NYCHA’s Family Partnerships Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask for an Authorized Enroller to contact them to enroll in the home food delivery program. Residents may also call their NYCHA Borough Office to speak to an Authorized Enroller.
NYCHA also continues to promote grab-and-go meals for all New Yorkers, available at more than 400 DOE schools citywide. You can find the schedule and locations here: www.schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer?
A. As part of the City’s plan to combat COVID-19 at NYCHA, the City worked with a vendor to mail face coverings and gloves to all NYCHA residents to help them protect themselves and their families during this crisis. Residents received one mask and one pair of gloves for each member of the household. Any packages that cannot fit in mailboxes will be hand delivered. The mailings were completed in May.
The City provided NYCHA with 30,000 individual 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer, which was distributed at senior residences in May. NYCHA worked with community-based organizations, the DFTA and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development to help distribute the sanitizer.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo donated hand sanitizer to all NYCHA Tenant Associations for distribution to residents. NYCHA has purchased and installed dispensers at all 68 senior residents.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with access to testing for COVID-19?
A. In addition to the NYC Health and Hospital testing sites available to residents citywide, since late April, H + H and a private healthcare provider have provided testing sites that are accessible to and prioritize NYCHA residents. These two efforts have been led by the City of New York and the Governor’s office, who secured the resources, partners, and selected the testing sites.
NYC Health and Hospitals Gotham Health opened 6 sites located at or near NYCHA developments. While all testing is available to the public -- which means any New Yorker experiencing symptoms may get tested -- NYCHA residents are prioritized. The H+H Gotham sites take walk-ins.
Two H+H sites are located at NYCHA developments: Woodside (QNS) and St. Nicholas (MN). One site is located at a former NYCHA development, Jonathan Williams (BK). These three sites are in tents on the development grounds and do not require an appointment.
Three H+H sites are located near NYCHA developments: Cumberland Health Center (BK), Belvis (BX), Gouverneur (LES). These sites are in hospital/health center facilities and do not require an appointment.
For testing site addresses, hours, and more information about the City’s plan to combat COVID-19 at NYCHA developments here: https://nychajournal.nyc/citys-new-plan-to-combat-covid-19-at-nycha-developments/.
Residents may also text COVID TEST to 855-48 or visit http://nyc.gov/covidtest to find a testing site near them.
Lead by the NY Governor’s office in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, a healthcare provider called Ready Responders is offering at home testing to NYCHA residents at over 20 NYCHA developments to date. Residents call Ready Responders for an appointment.
NYCHA has each healthcare provider/operator execute a license agreement and provide insurance and indemnity to NYCHA, but otherwise has very limited involvement. NYCHA is not notified about positive COVID tests for residents or staff due to HIPPA.
Q. Are NYCHA Community and Senior Centers open?
A. NYCHA-owned Community and Senior Centers are closed to the public. Throughout the year, NYCHA Community Centers are operated by non-profit service providers, through our DFTA, DYCD, and DOE City agency partners. All services and programs operated at NYCHA centers by these City agencies and non-profit partners, have been suspended, with the exception of specific services at limited NYCHA locations that remain open to prepare meal delivery services for seniors.
Q. Is NYCHA stopping non-essential visitors to senior buildings?
A. NYCHA is making individual phone calls to seniors, our most vulnerable population, sending robocalls and posting signage in multiple languages at our senior developments to ensure that our residents understand the precautions regarding COVID-19. While we are not able to prevent visitors, we have created specific signage that is posted at our senior developments, asking visitors to: 1) practice hand hygiene and practice social distancing; 2) be aware of the risk of exposing seniors to COVID-19; 3) NOT enter the building if they are feeling ill; 4) take extra precautions when interacting with our senior population; and 5) wear face coverings.
Q. Are there any additional measures to help seniors and other vulnerable residents during this crisis?
A. The Mayor has committed $5M and NYCHA has committed $10M towards purchasing and installing AC units for NYCHA seniors. NYSERDA/ConEd is contributing another $1.5M. AC units will be made available to all low-income seniors (60 years or older), persons with mobility impairments, or on life-sustaining equipment who do not already have an AC unit, which is approximately 22,000 households. The new AC units will be NYCHA owned and the AC fee will be waived. They will be installed by a vendor following DOB and DOHMH health guidelines for PPE. As of August 18, 2020, 12,514 AC units have been installed.
In addition, the City invested $5 million to provide free tablets and internet service for 10,000 senior residents to help them remain connected with their loved ones. This initiative targeted NYCHA seniors who live alone and in neighborhoods with low broadband adoption. As of May 11, 2020, 5,320 NYCHA seniors have registered for the program and tablet delivery.
Q. Can NYCHA residents pay rent in person?
A. There will be no in-person rent collection. Rent should be paid via mail, phone, MyNYCHA app, and online through authorized banks. If you are concerned about paying rent or experiencing financial hardship, you should visit on.nyc.gov/rent-hardship for more information about programs you may qualify for.
Q. Will NYCHA evict residents during the COVID-19 crisis?
A. NYCHA suspended all resident evictions for as long as the City is under a state of emergency to keep our families healthy and housed during these uncertain times.
In addition, effective April 1, 2020, the Federal Cares Act, further protects residents by imposing an 120-day freeze on evictions. This means that all evictions are suspended until July, 28, 2020.
The NYS legislature passed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act in June that prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent of tenants who have suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency period. This ban will last indefinitely and will expire only when all COVID-19 related restrictions on businesses and gatherings have expired.
On December 28, Governor Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, which places a moratorium on residential evictions until May 1, 2021 for residents who have endured COVID-related hardship. Residents must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict residents that are creating safety or health hazards for other residents, and those residents who do not submit hardship declarations.
Q. Will NYCHA provide rent forgiveness to residents?
A. One of the most significant benefits of Public Housing is that there is always a built-in safety-net for residents who cannot pay rent. When NYCHA residents lose full or partial income, or receive unemployment benefits, due to COVID-19 or any other circumstance, their rent will decrease and will still always be 30 percent of their household income. This means that if the household income is zero, we can reduce the rent to zero.
Q. What can NYCHA residents do if they have lost income and they are not able to pay their rent?
A. NYCHA residents can apply for a rent hardship if their hours have been cut at work or if they have lost their jobs. Rent for public housing residents is always 30 percent of their household income. If a resident has no income at this time, their rent will be zero.
To apply for a rent hardship, residents should immediately fill out an Interim Recertification. An Interim Recertification is a change in a household’s composition, income, disability, senior, citizenship status, or student status that occurs between Annual Recertification periods.
There is NO waiting period to report loss of income to NYCHA. (The standard two-month waiting period that is normally required to apply for an Interim Recertification has been suspended.)
Q. How can a NYCHA resident apply for a rent hardship?
A. During the COVID-19 crisis, NYCHA has simplified its Rent Hardship Policy to make it easier for residents to apply.
Until further notice, to apply for rent hardship, residents can self-certify their income loss. This means that supporting documents such as pay stubs, letters from their employers, and/or verification of unemployment benefits, which are usually required to submit an Interim Recertification, are not required at this time. NYCHA will still accept these documents if residents have them available. We will also accept handwritten letters from employers and/or emails, as well as telephone calls from previous or current supervisors, as verification of resident loss of income. If none of the these items are currently available, residents may provide them to NYCHA at a later date.
With or without these documents residents can SELF-CERTIFY their loss of income, submit an Interim Recertification application, and receive a reduction in their rent.
There are three different ways residents can apply for an Interim Recertification:
Using the NYCHA Self-Service Portal is the quickest and easiest method to apply for rent hardship. We simplified the online form, which also uses Google Translate to access the application in over 100 languages. Residents may refer to this guide that shows them the step-by-step process.
Customer Contact Center:
Residents can now also call the CCC at 718-707-7771 (Option 5) to complete the Interim Recertification application over the phone. A NYCHA customer service representative will guide residents through a brief set of questions; residents can SELF-CERTIFY their income loss and submit the Interim Recertification application over the phone.
Residents who require translation services when they call the CCC to complete the Interim Recertification application will be simultaneously connected with the Language Helpline, which will assist them throughout the process.
Property Management Office:
Residents may call their Property Management Office to request a paper Interim Recertification application. They may provide supporting documents with their paper application or take a picture/upload/scan any documents and email them to their Property Management Office. Once residents have completed and submitted the application, they will be contacted by their Property Management Offices to SELF-CERTIFY.
Q. Is the Interim Recertification available in other languages?
A. For residents’ convenience, we have translated the application into 13 different languages. Residents may use the translated application to review the questions in the language of their choice, but they must complete and submit the English application.
Q. After a resident submits an Interim Recertification, when should they expect to receive a rent adjustment?
A. Rent for residents who submit Interim Recertifications will be adjusted for the month following the submission of the application. Any rent adjustment that does not take place immediately will be retroactive to the first of the month after you initiate the Interim Recertification request.
If a resident does not see a change in their rent immediately, NYCHA will accept partial rent payments until the application is processed.
Q. What can NYCHA residents do if they haven’t lost income but are still not able to pay their rent, utilities, or other bills?
A. Residents can visit the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to request one-time assistance. For more information on the One Shot Deal, visit the Access HRA website: nyc.gov/accesshra.
Q. Is NYCHA moving forward with termination proceedings against any tenants?
A. NYCHA’s Office of Impartial Hearings will be closed until New York State’s “Stay at Home” order is lifted for New York City. All hearings and conferences scheduled during this time period are adjourned. Residents will receive a letter with a new hearing or conference date.
Q. How is NYCHA informing residents that administrative hearing dates and/or court dates have been moved?
A. NYCHA continues to provide information to all our residents regarding eviction suspension, rent hardship and rent payments, office closures, and other administrative changes through emails, NYCHA websites, social media, and property signage.
Q. Are there any changes to the Annual Recertification process and/or deadline associated with that process?
A. The Annual Recertification process will continue normally. As always, residents have five months from the initial notification to complete the recertification.
Public Housing residents may complete their Annual Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at https://selfserve.nycha.info/. They may also continue to request a paper Annual Recertification packet, though they may experience delays in receiving that packet. Residents may mail the completed packet to the P.O. Box listed in the instructions or they may drop off the completed packet at their Property Management Office (by appointment only).
The Section 8 recertification process will also continue normally, though participants may experience delays in processing. NYCHA staff will prioritize Interim Recertifications for reduced incomes.
Q. Are there any changes to NYCHA’s emergency transfer process?
A. NYCHA continues to offer emergency transfers to residents experiencing domestic violence or abuse during the COVID-19 crisis. NYCHA’s partner, Safe Horizon, is available through its Community Program Helpline, and together we have promoted services through all of our digital communications platforms to ensure families have options and support, and can remain safely sheltered. (on.nyc.gov/safe-horizon)
Q. Is NYCHA continuing to move families into vacant apartments?
A. During these uncertain times, NYCHA’s priority is to keep New Yorkers healthy and housed. We continue to move families into NYCHA apartments during the state of emergency.
NOTE: Section 8 operations may continue to change throughout this state of emergency. Additional information or changes will be posted on the NYCHA website and the NYCHA Journal. For the latest Section 8 update, visit: Section 8 Program Update – The NYCHA Journal.
COVID-19 HUD Waivers
HUD has issued notices allowing housing authorities to waive certain regulations, or portions of regulations, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a chart showing the waivers HUD has made available, along with a chart showing which waivers NYCHA has adopted.
Q. How can I submit Section 8 requests, access documents, or check status updates?
A. The Owner Extranet and Self-Service Portal will remain available for online submission of requests, documents, status updates, and general case information. The Owner Extranet and Self-Service Portal can be access online via smartphone, tablet, or computer. In addition, for those unable to access the online portals, please call NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Due to staffing schedule mandates, there will be delays in processing time for some tasks, such as printing and mail functions. Section 8 residents and landlords should periodically visit those portals for updates and printing any necessary documents, and there are mail-in options for residents without internet access.
Q. Is there a rental assistance program for Section 8 residents who can’t pay rent?
A. NYCHA encourages households experiencing an inability to pay rent due to a loss of income to visit the Self-Service Portal. NYCHA encourages all landlords to assist in connecting their tenants with rental assistance programs. Section 8 participants can report a decrease in household income by completing an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at https://selfserve.nycha.info/. Households without internet access may submit a request to P.O. Box 19196, Long Island City, NY 11101-9196.
New York City offers a variety of rental assistance programs for tenants in need. Please refer your tenant to ACCESS NYC or have them call 311 and request the “Tenant Helpline.”
The Tenant Safe Harbor Act is a new State law stating that tenants who have experienced financial hardship any time from March 7, 2020 to the date when all COVID-19-related safety restrictions are lifted in the region may not be evicted for failing to pay rent first owed during that period. This moratorium lasts until January 1, 2021, at the earliest, pursuant to an executive order issued by the Governor. More information about this state law can be found here, along with information about other State resources.
Q. Is the Customer Contact Center (CCC) open?
A. Customer Contact Center operations have resumed for Section 8 requests. However, Walk-in Centers remain closed to the public while the City is under a state of emergency. If you have questions or concerns, tenants and owners can contact us at 718-707-7771.
Q. Will there still be Annual and Interim Recertifications?
A. Yes, annual and interim recertifications are still being processed. NYCHA will prioritize interim requests for loss of income and postpone the effective date for annual recertifications that result in an increase to the tenant rent. Interim recertifications are being received online and through the mail.
Q. Is NYCHA still doing eligibility interviews?
A. Applicant eligibility interviews and informal conferences will be performed over the phone.
Q. Is NYCHA still conducting inspections?
A. NYCHA is not conducting HQS inspections until further notice. NYCHA will accept an owner’s certification for initial inspections (e.g., New Rentals, Transfers and Restorations). Because of the state of emergency for COVID-19, until further notice, NYCHA will authorize occupancy of a unit prior to the initial inspection being completed based on an owner’s completion of the “Owner Certification of Initial Inspection” form, which includes a certification the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life-threatening conditions exist in the prospective rental unit and public space areas of the building.
Owners must submit the completed Owner Certification for Initial Inspection (Interim Certification Due to COVID-19), NYCHA form 059.314A, by emailing it to S8.email@example.com. NYCHA will review the form and, if approved, and the unit is otherwise eligible for Section 8 rental, will authorize the rental and commence Housing Assistance Payments. NYCHA will conduct an inspection of the unit once inspections resume.
NYCHA will accept an owner certification for existing new rentals that failed the initial inspection with non- life-threatening conditions. Because of the state of emergency for COVID-19, until further notice, NYCHA is temporarily allowing owners whose unit failed an initial inspection because of non-life-threatening violation to certify repairs have been made. Owners must submit the completed Owner Certification for Initial Inspection (Interim Certification Due to COVID-19), NYCHA form 059.314A, by emailing it to S8.firstname.lastname@example.org. NYCHA will review the form. Please note: NYCHA will reinspect the unit once inspections resume.
Life-threatening HQS violations (also known as 24-hour violations) must be corrected. NYCHA will temporarily accept, until further notice, the following as an alternate form of verification for completed repairs:
The NE-2 and NE-2PS certifications are now available on the Owner Extranet. Owners can log into their accounts to view the certification. Owners can submit a certification of completed repairs to prevent suspension of (or reinstate) subsidy payments for 24-hour violations. Owners can log into the Owner Extranet for additional information. Please Note: Approved NE-2 and NE-2PS certifications will be subject to Quality Control Inspections once inspections resume.
Suspension timeline for non-life-threatening HQS violations has been extended until further notice. Because of the state of emergency for COVID-19, until further notice, NYCHA is temporarily extending the timeframe to address non-life-threatening HQS violations from 30 days to 90 days for inspections conducted on February 15, 2020 or later. NYCHA will advise owners when it will resume abatement for non-life-threatening HQS violations. NYCHA expects that all owners will continue to make best efforts to correct all HQS violations in a timely manner. Owners can use the NE-2 certification to verify completed repairs for non-life-threatening conditions.
Q. What about other processes, such as lease renewals, contract rent changes, transfer requests, and termination actions? Are those still going through?
Rental packages will be accepted via email at email@example.com. If you mail your rental package, please call NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to confirm that NYCHA has received the rental packet. Transfer requests are being processed, but there will be a delay in receiving transfer vouchers in the mail. Please periodically check the Self-Service Portal, where you will be able to print vouchers, if possible.
NYCHA has issued a 120-day voucher extension to Section 8 participants whose transfer voucher had an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. An additional 60 days voucher extension was issued to those Section 8 participants whose initial 120-day extension expired without an accepted rental packet. A copy of the updated voucher is available under the “Lease Up Documents” tab on the Self-Service Portal. To request an additional voucher extension, please send an email to S8.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Termination actions have been suspended for at least 60 days, which will be evaluated as needed. This includes termination actions related to annual recertification, inspection, and fraud.
Q. Are NYCHA Property Management Offices open?
A. NYCHA’s Property Management Offices are open, but to further implement social distancing best practices, we have reduced the number of staff in every office, and we have suspended direct-contact meetings between staff and residents.
Management Office staff will continue to assist residents via telephone, email, and through scheduled appointments to speak to staff from behind the reception desk. Wednesday extended hours have been suspended until further notice.
Property Management Office staff will accept documentation in the office or via email; they will be available to discuss confidential information via phone or in the office; they will accept notices of intent to vacate and return keys, cylinder/mailbox changes or copies of keys; and they will accept responses to Annual Window Guard Notice and Child Under 6 Survey.
Q. Can residents use NYCHA’s Walk-in Centers during this time?
A. NYCHA’s Brooklyn and Bronx Customer Contact Walk-in Centers are closed to the public until further notice.
Q. Is the Law Department Service Window open to accept services of process during this time
A. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCHA’s Law Department Service Window was temporarily closed and the Law Department was accepting service of process via email and mail. On November 5, NYCHA’s Law Department Service Window re-opened part time. The new hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The types of service papers received at the window include orders to show cause, notices of claim, summonses, subpoenas, and other legal papers. Because the window will only be open two days a week, the Law Department will continue to accept service of process via email at ServiceECF@nycha.nyc.gov and via mail at: NYCHA Law Department, 90 Church Street, 11th floor, New York, NY 10007, Attn: Law Department/Service.
Q. Is NYCHA suspending events such as Resident Association elections, annual Family Days, and other planned community events?
A. NYCHA has postponed all in-person public meetings and events at NYCHA offices and developments until further notice. We will notify residents when in-person meetings and events will resume.
Q. Are NYCHA playgrounds and basketball courts open?
A. NYCHA’s playgrounds re-opened in June as per guidance from Mayor Bill de Blasio. Any playgrounds that were closed due to safety concerns will remain closed until those issues can be addressed. Visitors to playgrounds must continue to wear face coverings; maintain social distance of 6 feet between each child who does not live in the same household; stay home if anyone is feeling sick; wash hands frequently; cover coughs and sneezes; do not touch your face; and remember that NYCHA playgrounds are not sanitized.
Basketball courts are also open, however the City is still in the process of re-installing rims. Participants should continue to wear face coverings, follow social distancing protocols, and avoid high-contact pick-up games.
Q. Will NYCHA’s Monthly Board Meetings continue as scheduled?
A. NYCHA’s Board of Directors meetings have been taking place remotely since the April 29th Board Meeting. The meetings are livestreamed on YouTube, and can be viewed here. To view the full Board Meeting schedule, visit: https://on.nyc.gov/boardmeetings.