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Current Policies during Corona Virus

Updated May 18, 2020 at 5pm

Summary (because this keeps getting longer): We will get through this together!  If you are a tenant, let us know how you are doing (and especially let us know if paying rent is going to be tough-there are options) - text or call (248) 653-1508.  Click here for our Maintenance Policy during the COVID-19 emergency.

Latest Update: 5/18 All pre-"NY Forward" non-emergency service requests have been completed.  Our office remains closed to the public, but we can respond to any service request following COVID-19 policy.  If you are homeless, Arbor can fast-track your Section 8 application.


First, we will get through this together!  It will be tough at times - together we will make it through.

Second, stay safe - stay home, wash your hands, avoid as much contact with folks who don't live with you as you can, avoid as much contact with items and surfaces outside your home as you can.  When you choose to venture out, go alone and maintain a 6 foot distance to others (use a cloth face covering when you must be closer than 6 feet).  Click here for Chemung County's COVID-19 info or call the county COVID-19 hotline (607) 873-1813.  The CDC info is here.

For emotional support, know that we love you and we are not mental health professionals.

Experts remind us that this COVID-19 emergency is new & unknown to us - it's okay (and normal) to be scared/confused/overwhelmed; what matters is our response, so take a nice deep breath (really, this has been proven to help us relax) and focus on the positive (yah, a bit hokey, but it works!).

For immediate skilled emotional support, please contact: 
◊the New York State COVID-19 emotional support hotline (844) 863-9314;
◊NYS Domestic Violence (844) 997-2121 (note: you do not have to provide either a name or an address if you don't want to). 
◊Chemung County Family Services (607) 733-5696 (tele-counseling appointments available);
◊Chemung County Crisis Program (607) 442-6900; Crisis Text Line - text HELLO to 741741;
◊National Suicide Hotline (800) 273-8255 (that's 800 273 TALK). 

If you have household members on the Autism spectrum, the Autism Society has COVID-19 guidance and coping strategies
 

Third, we're landlords, what about the rent you pay?  As of now, the New York State legislature is working on a few different ideas for rent relief, as is the US Congress. We’re committed to helping our residents during these trying times to ensure that no one loses the roof over their head if they’re financially impacted by this pandemic. Our policy is:

-We will work together on your rent.  We need you to continue to pay rent (sadly, our bills are still there).  We appreciate the payments that you do make.  However, please do let us know as soon as you suspect you won't pay the full amount you owe - text or call (248) 653-1508. When we do not hear from you and you do not pay, we will reach out to you.  When we don't reach you and you aren't paying rent, we'll assume that you may wish to move out once the crisis is over (we won't assume you want to move before then).  We are suspending late fees for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency, and if we haven't heard from you will send a Late Notice outlining options available to you (payment plan, agreement to move, etc.).  As of May 7, tenants financially affected by COVID-19 have the right (but not the obligation) to use security deposit monies to pay rent now, with option to replenish the security deposit over 12 monthly payments (starting at least 90 days after date of usage) or to provide insurance that provides the landlord relief.

-We will work together on shelter.  New York State has banned evictions for non-payment through at least August 20, 2020 (was initially June).  This gives tenants, landlords and the legislature time to work things out.  When we are through the emergency, we'll work with you to agree on a plan to get catch up on any back rent.  For prospective tenants, we are doing as much as possible online, including applications - coming soon, pictures and maybe even video of available units.  If you are homeless, Arbor can fast-track your Section 8 appliacation (wait time of roughly 1 month vs. more typical 18-24 months).

-There is help available now
◊New York State SNAP benefits are automatically raised for March, April and/or May (unless your household was already maxed out), and new applications are being rushed through; food registration is option 1 on the Chemung COVID-19 Hotline (607) 873-1813 . 
◊New York State unemployment has eliminated delays in benefits (although it may be 3 weeks before you get the money), opened up benefits to independent contractors, and raised weekly benefits by $600 thanks to Federal assistance.  More unemployment info here
◊Don't forget about local DSSfood banks and Catholic Charities (many now offering delivery or drive through options). 
◊Text or call (248) 653-1508 if you want us to do a landlord statement for SNAP or other applications. 
◊FYI Express Employment in Corning still has positions to fill. 
◊Check out this list from HUD about free or discounted internet and other resources during the COVID emergency (some offers are income-based; posted on the Rochester Housing Authority website).
We encourage you to identify additional resources - let us know what you find, we can add them to this list.

-If you participate in Section 8, let them know about any change in income - they can respond very quickly (and increase the portion they pay of your rent).  For Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties, call Arbor at (607) 654-7487.

-There is help coming.  There will be additional rental assistance available from HUD through different agencies in each County starting as soon as June 2020 - let us know if you'd like to be on an interest list.  Federal benefits have been paid to most households ($1,200 per adult and $500 per child). Official IRS info is here, register your info with the IRS here (especially if you don't file taxes).  If you have your own business, there are programs including Payroll Protection Program (PPP - contact your business lender to apply, this loan can convert to a grant) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL - apply directly through the Small Business Administration).  As money starts to flow, check out Chemung Canal Trust's guidelines to Avoid COVID-19 Fraud.

-Our office is operating, and is closed to the public.  Please text or call (248) 653-1508 with any needed repairs.  For your health and safety (and that of our contractors), we are doing emergency repairs only right now (you must stay at least 6 feet away from any repair folks).  We expect to be able to begin non-emergency repairs when the Southern Tier enters phase 1 of the NY Forward program, which may be as soon as May 15, 2020.  Please do let us know about all repairs ASAP, even when something isn't an emergency we want to be able to address it as soon as possible.  Lots more detail here about our maintenance policies during the COVID-19 emergency.

-Do you usually pay in cash? Please consider paying online or getting a money order. When you must pay in cash, please text or call (248) 653-1508 to make sure someone is at the office, drop your payment through the mail slot of the side door on Hoffman St, and do not leave until you get your receipt.  To help keep you safe, we'll follow our COVID-19 office procedures (example: we will sanitize our hands before we touch your receipt and no, not kidding - would rather err on the side of caution!).  Mail check or money order payments to

American Capital RE, LLC
642 W Water St, FL 1
Elmira NY 14905.

 

In closing, know that we are committed to getting through this together.  Questions? Please text or call (248) 653-1508.

 


Earlier Updates Log: 
5/11 NY State's Southern Tier region *does* qualify to enter phase 1 "NY Forward" (re-opening) starting May 15th.  We expect to be able to start non-emergency repairs as of that date.  Our office expects to open to the public (following physical distancing guidelines) during phase 2, which may start as early as May 29th.  
5/8 hearing rumors that rental assistance may be available soon for tenants affected by COVID-19 - let us know if you want to be added to an "interest list" for support.
5/7 NYS eviction moratorium extended to August 20 (may be limited to COVID-19 affected tenants eg lost income, caring for family member, etc) and tenants may ask to use security deposit toward rent. 
5/1 NYS domestic violence help (no name or address required) (844) 997-2121. 
4/21 Our 
office procedures during COVID.
4/20 Internet 
resources discounted or free during COVID emergency (source: HUD).
4/16 Face coverings 
required in public if don't maintain 6 foot distance; NYS AG guidance on rents and eviction during emergency.  
4/15 Chemung Co COVID-19 Hotline is (607) 873-1813 - for food registration choose option #1; 
breathe deep; Autism Society's COVID-19 guidance; Chemung Canal has a "How to Avoid Fraud" wiki. 
4/14 NYS SNAP (food stamp) benefits will be 
higher and easier to get.  Also, if you file taxes you will be able to update your deposit info for the stimulus check starting sometime Friday April 17th. 
4/11 don't file taxes? You can 
register info with IRS to make sure you get your stimulus $$ as soon as possible. 
4/10 NYS relaunched 
unemployment website
4/9 
Express Employment Corning has a bunch of machine operator slots to fill.

 

American Capital RE, LLC

Elmira's rent-to-own specialist.

Why rent when you can buy?  Low down payments, monthly rents for a wide range of budgets.

"The process has been smooth and Harriet has been here the whole way."

Our office is at the corner of Hoffman and Water - look for the striped awning

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