Assistance from the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERAP, is being offered to Dutchess County residents who are finding it difficult to pay rent or utilities as a result of COVID-19.

Low and moderate income residents who are having trouble making their rent or utility payments are being encouraged by the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) to apply for assistance through the ERAP.

In a press release from DCFS on Thursday June 3rd, Commissioner Sabrina Jaar-Marzouka explained:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many of our most vulnerable residents, but assistance remains accessible to help keep residents in need stay in their homes. We urge those who seek assistance to take advantage of all available options to shore up their housing stability

Assistance from the program can include up to 12 months of past-due rent, and for some, up to three months future rent, as well as up to 12 months of overdue electric or gas utility bills.  In order to qualify for assistance through ERAP, Dutchess County residents must meet the following criteria:

  • Household gross income at or below 80 percent of area median income, which varies by county and household size
  • A member of the household has received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The applicant owes past-due rent at their current residence.

ERAP assisted payments will always be issued directly to the landlord or utility provider.

Applications for the program can be submitted directly by using this link, and additional details about the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program can be found on the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services website, or via phone at (844) 691-7368.

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