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An FAQ Guide to Rental Assistance in NYC: One Shot Deals, Subsidies, and Charities

Right now, many New Yorkers are struggling to pay their rent. If you or someone you know does not have the money to pay back rent, there is help. There are three options typically available to tenants who need help paying rent:

  • One Shot Deals,
  • rental Subsidies,
  • and charitable organizations. 

Below, we provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on One Shot Deals, rental subsidies, and charitable organizations. 

FAQs Answered:

  • A One Shot Deal (also known as a “Rental Arrears Grant”), is a grant that tenants can apply for with NYC HRA. The grant covers all rent owed and is typically used in Housing Court non-payment cases where rent is due.
  • For many people who need help paying their back rent, a One Shot Deal is one of the most common ways to resolve this issue.
  • Right now, you can apply for a One Shot Deal through Access HRA. Access HRA is the website where people can apply for One Shot Deals, Food stamps, Cash
    assistance, and other public benefits.
  • Access HRA is currently the preferred way to apply for a One Shot Deal, since no in-person applications are being accepted at this time. You can submit an application through your phone using the Access HRA phone app, or via a computer using the website.

In order to apply for a One Shot Deal, the following documents and information are needed:

  • Proof of identification (such as an ID/Birth certificate/etc)
  • Proof of income (examples include Paystubs, Social Security Award letters, proof of unemployment insurance, proof of third party income, etc)
  • Proof that rent is owed (such as a rent breakdown/ a stipulation/etc.)
  • In addition, either an applicant or someone in the applicant’s household must have a social security number to be able to submit a One Shot Deal application.
  • After you submit a One Shot Deal application, you will be assigned a case number (this is typically a number with three zeroes at the beginning and a capital letter at the end).
  • You will then be assigned a caseworker who will determine whether HRA should approve or deny your grant request.

A caseworker will often take the following factors into consideration when evaluating a One Shot Deal application:

  • If you have the ability to pay your ongoing rent- (i.e, are you able to pay your ongoing rent and have some money left over to pay other expenses).
  • If you can continue to live in the apartment once the money is paid.
  • If an applicant has applied for a One Shot Deal previously- (HRA has approved applicants who have applied for one or even two One Shot Deals previously, but they will consider the last time an application was submitted).
  • Other factors (such as children in the household, recent illness, care for an elderly family member, etc.)
  • It takes 30 days for a case to be evaluated, but can often take less time.
  • You should be able to see if your application has been approved on your Access HRA account. If you have not been notified regarding the status of your One Shot Deal within 30 days, contact your HRA caseworker.
  • These grants are technically a loan. Once it is approved, HRA will send clients letters indicating that the One Shot Deal must be paid back. However, repayment will be based on your monthly income and can be adjusted and even put on hold depending on circumstances.
  • One Shot Deals do not impact your credit score
  • They do not impact your ability to secure a new apartment.
  • HRA typically isn’t very strict regarding repayment and (to our knowledge) has not taken any legal action against tenants who were unable to pay back a One Shot Deal.

It is possible that you may qualify for a rental subsidy. A subsidy can pay not only your back rent but also your ongoing rent. Some rental subsidies include the following:

  • FHEPS– This subsidy is for families with minor children who are currently receiving Cash Assistance. For further details on eligibility, please see the following link.
  • CityFHEPS– This subsidy is for families or adult-only households who make less than 200% of the federal poverty level. For information regarding eligibility, please see the following link.

Tenants can also apply for assistance via charitable organizations. Some organizations that provide assistance to tenants who need help with rental arrears include:

Often, applying for charitable assistance can take longer than applying for a One Shot Deal, and assistance is usually less and much more limited. For additional information, please contact Housing Court Answers

For information on tenants’ rights and the latest resources for COVID-19, click here

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