COVID-19 Resources for New York State

THIS IS A RAPIDLY EVOLVING SITUATION SO WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO UPDATE THIS PAGE AS THINGS DEVELOP.

CONTACT cradock@LOCALPROGRESS.ORG TO SHARE UPDATES OR REQUESTS.

Local Progress New York Members and Partners,

This is a trying time for all of us, regardless of where in the state you are located. To support members with their response to the spread of COVID-19, Local Progress NY reached out to our statewide partners to find out their main priorities during the State of Emergency.

This page outlines some of the policies and actions that we can take together to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected and cared for during this time. 

>> You can access the New York State Department of Health’s county-by-county COVID-19 tracker here. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to Chad Radock, NY Chapter Manager, for more information or for the support you need in this time.


LPNY Deep Dive Series

After our initial Coronavirus Resource Call in early April, we wanted to provide a weekly opportunity for members to take a deep dive into different topics that are pressing in this new COVID-19 world we live in.  Here are the calls we are offering. At the bottom of the page, you will find a recording and resources associated with each call we conduct.

  • Deep Dive: Covid 19 and New York’s Housing Emergency  (May 13, 7:00-8:30pm) — Since late March, New Yorkers who are non-essential workers have been asked to physically distance from one another, and stay safe at home. Many have lost their jobs, and are relying on unemployment insurance to make ends meet, and yet the rent is still due. While the State will not enforce Evictions until the crisis is over, what happens then, when our constituents face repayment of back rent?  Join us to explore deeper with your colleagues on what localities can do, and what legislation is pending at the state level that we can have an impact on? Come and Join the Conversation! REGISTER HERE

  • Deep Dive: Water Shut-off Moratoriums: the role of local government (May 20, 7-8:30pm) — We all know that the most important thing that we can do to prevent infection of the coronavirus is to wash your hands.  But what about those people who have had their water shut off because of non payment?  These residents contribute to the spread of the virus by not having a means for proper hygiene.  What can we do at the Local and State Level to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe tap water during the crisis. REGISTER HERE 

  • Deep Dive: Food Distribution and Collection (May 27, 7:8:30pm) —  Local elected officials and the governments that they represent are working hard to ensure that those that need healthy meals for their families are taken care of during this time. Come join the conversation and learn best practices from your colleagues across the state! REGISTER HERE



Housing

Local Rent Moratorium

While not as effective as a statewide solution, a local moratorium can create more time for repayment of back rent by tenants, providing some relief.  These measures should be accompanied by community education efforts targeted toward renters and landlords.

Federal Cares Act Rent Moratorium

The Federal Cares Act included a provision that prohibits eviction from federally-backed mortgages like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

Redirect CDBG Funding toward Rent Relief

Tompkins County Legislators worked to re-direct $589,066 of CDBG funding toward rent relief for those unable to pay.

Local Homeless Shelter Social Distancing

Many local homeless shelters do not have space to provide individual rooms to people who are without a home. The below resolution proposes the provision of shelter by using local hotels to house the homeless population in our communities until the emergency is over and a permanent housing solution is found.

Emergency Rental Assistance Vouchers

The below resolution supports NY State Senator Brian Kavanagh’s bill (S8140) to provide assistance to renters to pay rent during the State of Emergency. Resolutions from local governments would help to put pressure on members of the legislature and show the need for such legislation. The City of Kingston and the Tompkins County passed resolutions in support of this legislation.

Housing Voucher Access Program

This is new legislation (S7628A) (HVAP) that was submitted prior to the COVID-19 crisis to provide assistance based on family income to adjust market rate rental unit pricing, making such housing affordable  to those who otherwise could not afford it.


Elections

Members have been concerned about making sure community members are safe to vote.  Our partners have been working with the state and local governments to ensure a safe and efficient method of voting for the June Primaries and other elections scheduled during this time.

Here are the Executive Orders issued by the Governor, as well as a website that will be tracking developments.

  • Postage Paid Absentee Balloting for June Elections — EO 202..26
    Sections 103 and 104-b of the General Municipal Law, to the extent necessary to allow a board of elections to procure and provide absentee ballot applications, absentee ballots, envelopes, or any other means of transmitting an absentee ballot application or absentee ballot, including postage, to voters without the usual advertising for bids and offers and compliance with existing procurement policies and procedures.

  • Absentee Balloting for June Elections – EO 202.15
    Section 8-400 of the Election Law is temporarily suspended and hereby modified to provide that due to the prevalence and community spread of COVID-19, an absentee ballot can be granted based on temporary illness and shall include the potential for contraction of the COVID-19 virus for any election held on or before June 23, 2020.

  • Village, Library, School Board and School Budget Elections: EO 202.13
    (Rescheduling Queens Special to June and postponing any April or May school board, library, or village elections until
    at least June 1st)

  • Presidential Primary and State Primaries Merged for June: EO 202.12 

  • Absentee Balloting for April Elections: EO 202.2
    (expanding vote-by-mail to all voters due to COVID for April elections and allowing email/fax requests)


Resources on Early Voting:  www.VoteEarlyNY.org
This site is tracking/mapping the early voting plan statewide (will include updates about vote-by-mail options as those get ironed out in the coming days).

Water Shut Off Moratorium

Many of our water systems upstate are run by or are influenced by our local governments. Members are asked to consider a local moratorium on water shut offs, and to work together to influence the Governor.


Federal Municipal Bond Opportunity

The last stimulus plan created a ultra low interest bond program with the Federal Reserve Banks (the Fed) for local and state governments. This is an evolving situation and more information is to come. 


Local and state leaders across the country penned a sign-on letter urging the Federal Reserve to provide badly needed source of revenue for governments across the nation. The letter calls on federal officials and the Fed to financially support local and state governments, not just Wall Street, so localities as front line responders can respond to the very worst of this crisis.

Sign onto the letter here

LPNY Deep Dive Series Resources

After our initial Coronavirus Resource Call in early April, we wanted to provide a weekly opportunity for members to take a deep dive into different topics that are pressing in this new COVID-19 world we live in. Here you will find a recording and resources associated with each call we conduct.