HRA’s One-Shot Deals for Rental Arrears

Tips on getting HRA to help pay back rent.

What is a one-shot deal for rental arrears?
A one-shot deal is a one-time payment by the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to help back rent to avoid an eviction. “One-Shot Deals” are for people who have income from sources other than HRA such as employment or SSI. If you are on-goin public assistance or are applying for on-going public assistance and are behind in your rent you may also qualify for rental asssistance in the form of “applicant arrears” or “duplicate shelter allowance”.

How do I apply?
You can apply at your local HRA Job Center. Call 311 to find out the center that serves your neighborhood. If you have a Marshal’s notice you can visit the HRA offi ce in Court to see if they can help the application process go faster.

Do I need to have a court case?
HRA’s one shot deals do not require that you be brought to Housing Court. HRA should process your application with just a demand letter from the landlord. The process can take a long time, so it is best to apply as soon as possible.

What do I need to bring?

  • Any Court Papers or demand letter from your landlord
  • Current Rental breakdown from the landlord (month by month)
  • Pay stubs for last 6 weeks or most recent for every member of the household
  • Apartment lease
  • Birth Certificate and Social Security for everyone in the Household
  • Electricity and Telephone Bills if any
  • SSI/SSA award letter if any
  • Third Party Information (W-146E completed with at least 3 recent paystubs) if any
  • Proof of Unemployement Benefits if any
  • Pension or child support income information if any
  • Savings/Checking Account information if any
  • Proof of any unforeseen circumstances as to why rent was not paid (i.e. medical bills, funeral expenses bills, proof of loss of income)
  • Check or money order for any contributions made towards total rental arrears.

Keep Copies, Get Names and Keep in Touch
Make sure you keep a copy of every document you give to HRA. Get the name and the phone number of everyone you meet with and note what documents you gave them and on what day you handed it in. You should follow up with HRA on a regular basis to check on status of your application.

What is a Third Party?
In order to get a one-shot deal you need to estabilish that you can aff ord your apartment in the future. If you income is lower than you rent you will need to get a family member or friend to agree to give you money every month to make up the diff erence between your rent and your income. If the third party does not pay HRA will not go after them for the funds but it will make it very diffi cult to get another One Shot Deal.

What if I have gotten a One-Shot Deal in the past?
You can always apply for a one-shot deal even if you have had one in the past. f you received a one-shot deal in the past and did not pay it back you may have trouble getting another one. If you made payments you will have a better chance but you will still need to show HRA new circumstances that caused you to fall behind and if you had a third party in the past they will be much less likely to accept a new third party.

Will I have to pay it back?
Most people will have to pay HRA back. If you receive SSI you may receive up to 4 months back rent a year and not have to pay it back. If you do not pay HRA back they may send you to collections. Making at least a minimal payment plan can sometimes help keep your case out of collections.

What else can I do to help my applicaiton?
HRA looks at many factors in determining whether to grant an application. Advocacy can be very helpful if done right. Be respectful but forceful. Work you way up the chain of command if you are denied. The better your documentation the better chance you will have of being approved. Applying for a Fair Hearing is your right, but many denials are actually within the agencies rules. Stressing the affordability of your apartment, how long you have lived there and reasons why you need to stay in the neighborhood – such as nearby special medical care or schools can also help your application.