In the first 24 hours the money was available, Oneida County took in 200 applications for Covid-related rental assistance.
The good news: there's $6.8 million available for unpaid landlords.
The bad news: it might be a bit challenging to access it.
There are several criteria that must be met in order to apply for the assistance. Proof of occupancy and residency and rental cost must be provided. Input and cooperation are required between tenants and landlords. Some of those relationships might be strained, as some landlords haven't been paid rent in more than a year. Oneida County says they will step in and shepherd both throughout the process.
"We're gonna literally go out to those areas if there's a dilemma in terms of a disconnect between the tenant and the landlord, to mediate, if you will, that dilemma, and get people to sign off," says Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente, Jr.
Then, there's the task of reversing costly misbeliefs.
"The other piece is, you have tenants who think just because they haven't been evicted, they don't have to pay," says Picente. "We're trying to explain to them, look, if you don't sign off on this, in time, when the eviction piece goes away, you can be evicted."
County Executive Picente realizes there may be challenges accessing the money. For help completing the application process, you can contact the county's partner, Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, at 315-624-9930, or, the state help line, at 1-844-691-7368. Oneida County's help line is 315-798-5439.
To access an application for assistance, click here.