COI Offering Help to Landlords & Tenants

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Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI) is opening up a landlord hotline for landlords who want to learn more about current and future programs to help pay rental arrears. Over the past year, the eviction moratorium put in place by New York State has kept at-risk tenants from becoming homeless during a health pandemic. The moratorium is currently scheduled to expire on May 1st and many landlords have expressed concerns about the growing amount of past due rents that they are owed.

“The number of people facing homelessness at this time is unprecedented. Even with the moratorium in place, the number of first-time homeless in the county increased from 2019 to 2020. We expect a major surge in homelessness once the moratorium is lifted,” stated Josiah Lamp, Housing Director at Chautauqua Opportunities and Chairperson of the County’s Homeless Coalition.

Financial resources are available for tenants and landlords to prevent evictions through several programs. Tenants are encouraged to contact the Department of Social Services to start the application process. COI works closely with Social Services to make these resources available to the homeless. Landlords are encouraged to reach out directly to COI’s Jamestown office at (716) 661-9430 and dial extension 2207 to receive the most current information.

“We are asking landlords to reach out to us through our hotline to make sure you receive up-to-date information on rental assistance. New assistance programs are currently in development by New York State and will allow landlords to apply directly for assistance. We want to get the word out to all local landlords,” said Mr. Lamp.

Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI) is a local non-profit organization committed to the fight against poverty. COI has been providing homeless prevention services since 1988 by working with families to promote economic empowerment and self-sufficiency.