COVID-19 Homeowner & Renter Resources


Mortgages: If homeowners cannot make mortgage payments, contact mortgage servicers to request payment forbearances. Forbearances do not forgive the debt, but they may extend loan terms with no late payment fees and no negative reporting to credit bureaus. Mortgage lenders/servicers are required to offer mortgage forbearance plans to a New York borrower of a “home loan” who is “in arrears or on a trial period plan, or who has applied for loss mitigation and demonstrates financial hardship.”

Foreclosures: In all residential foreclosure cases where the homeowner submits a declaration attesting to hardship resulting from or during the COVID-19 pandemic, those cases will be suspended until January 15, 2022, although now the hardship declaration is rebuttable by the foreclosing party. New residential foreclosure cases started between December 28, 2020, and January 27, 2021, are suspended for sixty (60) days from the date of commencement. These suspensions also apply to tax lien foreclosures of residential properties. 

Some homeowners may be eligible for funds through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March of 2021 provided New York with funds to help homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure, and displacement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NYS HAF program is being administered by the NY State affordable housing agency, NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR), in partnership with Sustainable Neighborhoods LLC, a non-profit dedicated to foreclosure prevention and homeownership preservation. To determine eligibility, contact the VLP.

Rental Assistance: For information on NYC rental assistance programs, see:

Evictions: No eviction proceedings for holdover or nonpayment of rent can be commenced against applicants until determination of program eligibility is made. In cases where a warrant of eviction has been issued, and the tenant provides a hardship declaration, the eviction will be suspended until January 15, 2022, although now the hardship declaration is rebuttable by the landlord. A newly passed Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“EARP”) is available to provide funds to pay for up to 12 months of past due rent from March 13, 2020, plus three more months of payments, for tenants currently struggling to pay.

New eviction proceedings are still being filed, but tenants cannot be defaulted for not appearing. Additionally, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act creates an affirmative defense for tenants in eviction cases, was recently expanded by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.66. The Act now prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for rent that accrued during the state’s shutdown prior to March 7, 2020. This period expires January 1, 2021. For tenants who qualify, warrants or judgments of eviction may not be executed during that period. While a landlord may not evict a tenant for rent not paid during this period, the landlord may still seek and receive a money judgment against a tenant for that past due rent.

Utilities: Governor Cuomo ordered that all essential utilities (electric and gas) not be shut off for nonpayment.

If you – or someone you know – have legal questions and would like legal help, please call our intake help line at (718) 624-3894 or by starting an online intake.