April 20, 2020

Section 8 and Public Housing Residents Impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19 Encouraged to Apply

ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 20, 2020 – The Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) announced today that residents and participants whose income has been affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19 may apply to have their rent payments temporarily reduced by up to 100%. Those currently enrolled in public housing or rental assistance programs through RHA can visit to learn more about submitting a change of income request.


“This global pandemic is having a great impact on the low-income community, who already struggle to make ends meet under regular circumstances,” said Shawn Burr, Deputy Executive Director at the Rochester Housing Authority. “We want those we serve to know that we’re here to help and we encourage those that need help to reach out for assistance. By reducing a layer of financial stress, they can focus on what truly matters, the health and wellbeing of their families.”


How It Works:


Public Housing Program

Residents of RHA-owned high rises, complexes or scattered site public housing developments should contact the on-site property management staff to request a hardship interim recertification. Upon determination of eligibility, residents can be granted a rent reduction, covering up to 100 percent of the contract rent, with no repayment requirement. Replacement income, such as unemployment benefits, may be considered when determining household rent responsibility on a case-by-case basis.


Section 8 Programs

To submit a change of income request, participants must submit a written request to their RHA Housing Specialist, including documentation of loss of employment or change in work status from their employers, as well as if they are, or planning to, receive unemployment benefits. After submission of this documentation, RHA may grant appropriate rent relief to reflect the resident’s new income level.


Resident, Participant, & Landlord Resources

RHA has added a COVID-19 resource page to, where residents, partners and property owners can find the most up-to-date information on RHA’s operations while the stay-at-home order is in effect, including an FAQ and a resource guide listing services being provided by RHA and its partners during this time. RHA will also continue to release updates and news via its social media platforms. Follow RHA on Facebook at @RochesterHousingAuthority for more information.


Flexibility from Property Owners

RHA strongly urges private property owners to provide needed flexibility to their residents, such as the waving of fees, splitting of rent payments, and temporary suspensions or cancellations of partial or full rent payments, if their business allows.  RHA is committed to work with you through this Pandemic, so please contact us with any questions or concerns.


About Rochester Housing Authority

Established in 1955 as an independent public corporation by New York State Public Housing Law, the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) serves more than 26,000 lower-income families, seniors and disabled residents and program participants in the five-county Greater Rochester area. Approximately 20% of those reside in the 2,400+ RHA public housing units, while others served receive assistance in the form of voucher or certificate programs that help them afford eligible, private housing.


Rochester Housing Authority does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, family status or disability in leasing, rental, occupancy, use or other disposition of housing or related facilities.


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