Please note that the information provided below was last updated on February 3, 2022. We will update the FAQs as the situation around COVID-19 develops.
Q. How is NYCHA informing residents about COVID-19 and other policy updates related to the state of emergency?
A. NYCHA is informing residents about COVID-19 updates through emails from NYCHA leadership, direct phone calls, robocalls, notices posted in buildings, push notifications from the MyNYCHA app, and updates on NYCHA websites and social media. NYCHA has also been in contact with over 200 Tenant Association presidents.
NYCHA asks that residents stay connected by checking The NYCHA Journal website frequently, downloading the MyNYCHA app and joining our social media community by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and connecting with us on LinkedIn.
Q. What languages is COVID-19 information available to residents?
A. Resident communications are translated into NYCHA’s five covered languages: English Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Russian. We are also translating public notices into eight additional languages including: Arabic, French, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Urdu, Yiddish, Polish.
Q. Are NYCHA offices open?
A. As of September 13, 2021, all NYCHA employees, including temporary staff, were required to report to the office in accordance with the Mayoral Order that all City employees (including NYCHA employees) return to their offices on a full-time basis, at 100 percent capacity.
Q. What protections are in place for NYCHA staff at work?
A. As of September 13, 2021, NYCHA began implementation of the City’s “COVID-Safe Requirement.” In accordance with the City’s COVID-Safe Requirement, all NYCHA employees who were hired before August 16, 2021 must either:
Provide verification that they are fully vaccinated; OR
Provide a weekly negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result with date of the test processed by medical professionals
NYCHA employees who were hired on or after August 16, 2021 must provide proof of having received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to beginning their employment (unless they have a reasonable accommodation).
On October 20, 2021, the City announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all City employees. Consistent with a NYC Health Department Commissioner’s Order, NYCHA employees will be required to submit proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, November 1, 2021.
NYCHA employees, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings while indoors at NYCHA developments and central offices.
NYCHA vendors and contractors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings while indoors at NYCHA developments and central offices.
Visitors to NYCHA development management offices and central offices, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings while indoors.
All residents, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings while in-unit work is performed.
In addition, all unvaccinated persons should maintain physical distancing at NYCHA developments and central offices.
Employees who are medically unable to tolerate wearing a mask must apply for a reasonable accommodation to be excused from this requirement.
Q. What is NYCHA doing to sanitize developments and protect residents from COVID-19?
A. The sanitizing and disinfecting treatment schedule that we have implemented for NYCHA's 2,200 buildings goes above DOHMH, State, and national guidance and focus on frequently touched areas.
Since October, NYCHA has been sanitizing all 69 senior buildings seven times a week and began sanitizing all buildings daily beginning in November. Prior to this, senior buildings were sanitized five times a week and all other buildings three times a week. View the full sanitizing schedule here: https://on.nyc.gov/cleaning-schedule.
NYCHA’s daily sanitizing efforts are concentrated in high-touch, high-traffic areas - lobby and common area doors; mailboxes; stairway doors, handles and handrails; elevator panels and trash chute doors; and other common areas - throughout our 2,200 buildings.
Our caretakers continue to perform grounds maintenance, including waste removal.
For more information about our vendors, the disinfecting products and the sanitizing schedule, please go to: on.nyc.gov/nycha-disinfects-its-buildings.
Repairs and maintenance, routine cleaning, and planned outages have returned to their normal schedules. Residents can call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771 to report emergencies and schedule routine maintenance repairs in their apartments and developments. Trained representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents may also submit emergency repair requests through the MyNYCHA app.
Q. Will NYCHA continue planned heat, hot water, and water outages during the pandemic?
A. Planned outages have resumed at NYCHA developments, which includes annual preventative maintenance and capital improvement work. Planned outages are important for the health and safety of NYCHA residents because they help preserve equipment and infrastructure. Residents at each of the affected developments are notified of the planned outages through robocalls and signs and posters at their developments. The average length of these outages is approximately eight hours. Information about outages is also posted on NYCHA’s Outages Dashboard and social media channels.
Q. Is NYCHA scheduling and performing repairs inside of apartments?
A. NYCHA staff has resumed scheduling and performing repairs inside of apartments.
Throughout the pandemic, staff continued to respond to and perform emergency maintenance and repair requests in apartments, including no heat and hot water conditions, water leaks, gas leaks or smell, flooding conditions, stoppages, electrical issues, interior rat infestations, high severity bed bug or mice infestations, hazardous conditions, no power, stoves or refrigerators not working, and more. Staff also continued to conduct lead remediation and certain critical work orders as a result of a court order, a commissioner order to abate or other violation, or through our own compliance process.
Staff performing work in apartments wear face coverings. All residents over the age of 2 must wear face coverings for the duration of the time NYCHA staff are working in the apartment, unless they isolate themselves in a separate room with the door closed or leave the apartment while work is being performed. Staff will bring extra masks to distribute to residents, if needed. If a resident refuses to maintain a distance of at least six feet and/or refuses to wear a face covering during the course of the work, staff will leave the unit and reschedule the appointment. If a resident is not feeling well, and the appointment is not an emergency, staff will leave the unit and reschedule the appointment.
After a NYCHA employee enters a unit, they will define a work area, advise the resident of the work area, and adhere to strict occupancy requirements within that work area based on the size of the room where the repair is being conducted. Residents and other occupants will not be permitted in the work area for the duration of the work.
Staff may open a window within the unit to increase ventilation during the repair.
Prior to and after completing work within an apartment, staff will use cleaning and disinfection supplies to wipe down any common surfaces touched during the completion of the work order.
Q. What if a NYCHA staff member or a NYCHA resident is not feeling well when there is a scheduled appointment in a resident’s unit?
A. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, NYCHA has been advising staff to make a risk assessment about entering or doing work in the apartment by asking key questions. NYCHA staff visiting residents’ apartments to perform the above-mentioned services and repairs will take precautionary measures before entering, including wearing a face covering and maintaining social distance – six or more feet – from other individuals in the apartment.
While residents are not required to wear a face covering in their homes, staff will ask residents to wear a face covering for the duration of the repair.
If any member of the household is not feeling well, NYCHA is requesting that family members remain in a separate room with the door closed, until the repair is completed. If a separate room is not available, staff will ask the resident to wear a face covering and maintain at least a six-foot distance from each other, until the repair is completed. Staff may also open a window within the unit to increase ventilation during the repair.
Staff are encouraged to use their best judgement when performing in-unit work. If the resident chooses not to allow a staff member into their apartment, or follow these instructions, staff will work with their supervisor to reschedule the appointment for a later date.
Since the start of the pandemic, NYCHA has been working with our partners, resident leaders, home health and other service providers, to ensure that residents, including our most vulnerable seniors and residents with disabilities, have access to food. Through NYCHA’s Community Engagement & Partnerships Department, we have made more than 125,000 phone calls and successfully connected with approximately 50,000 of our most vulnerable households to review the precautions regarding COVID-19 and to connect households with food, medicine, health insurance, medical equipment, and mental health resources. We are also sending mailers to every household with relevant COVID-19 resources and information.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with access to food?
A. Anyone in need of food can call 311 or visit NYC – COVID-19 Food Assistance. NYCHA residents may also email NYCHA’s Family Partnerships Department (email@example.com) to ask for an Authorized Enroller to contact them to enroll in the home food delivery program. Sixty NYCHA staff members are Authorized Enrollers, able to enroll seniors directly into the City’s Emergency Home Food Delivery program. Residents may also call their NYCHA Borough Office to speak to an Authorized Enroller.
From April to September 2020, NYCHA worked with partners to coordinate bulk food distribution to homebound older adults and disabled residents. NYCHA hired 36 seasonal workers to help distribute food, and provided bulk food distribution to residents at 34 developments from May through the end of August. A total of 1,707,921 meals were delivered to NYCHA residents through the bulk meals program. As part of the City’s plan to combat COVID-19 at NYCHA, announced in April 2020, all residents in senior buildings were enrolled in the GetFoodNYC home food delivery program.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with access to testing for COVID-19?
A. In addition to the NYC Health and Hospital (H+H) testing sites available to residents citywide, since April 2020, H + H and a private healthcare provider have provided testing sites that are accessible to and prioritize NYCHA residents. These two efforts have been led by the City of New York and the Governor’s office, who secured the resources, partners, and selected the testing sites.
There are many H+H testing sites located at or near NYCHA developments: residents can visit COVID-19 Testing Sites | NYC Health + Hospitals (nychealthandhospitals.org) to find the H+H testing site near them. Residents may also text COVID TEST to 855-48 or visit http://nyc.gov/covidtest to find a testing site near them. At-home testing for COVID-19 is now available to all New Yorkers. To schedule an in-home appointment, call (929) 298-9400 between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM (7 days a week).
NYCHA is not notified about positive COVID tests for residents or staff due to HIPPA.
Q. Is NYCHA helping to provide its residents with access to the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. In January 2021, when COVID-19 vaccines became available, NYCHA worked to ensure that residents, especially the most vulnerable older adult population, had access to the vaccine close to home. NYCHA worked with the City, State, and community partners on launching pop-up vaccine clinics, standalone vaccine sites, and 11 vaccine hub sites at community and senior centers that host vaccine distribution for several months as a central location for NYCHA residents.
NYCHA has canvassers at developments to promote vaccination clinics at NYCHA developments or nearby. NYCHA also deploys vaccination vans to support special events happening at NYCHA developments, such as Family Days.
Vaccines for New Yorkers ages 12 and up are available at hundreds of locations in all five boroughs, including H+H hospitals, mobile sites, and pharmacies and community clinics. The City is also offering a new $100 incentive for anyone (including children) who gets their first dose at a City-run site!
While vaccine sites throughout the City accept walk-ups, you can make an appointment at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov, or call the vaccine center at 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692), to arrange for free, round-trip transportation to a vaccine site.
Everyone is eligible to request and receive at-home vaccinations. Register for an appointment at nyc.gov/homevaccine or call 877-829-4692.
Q. Are NYCHA community and senior centers open?
A. NYCHA-owned community centers are open and offering both in-person and virtual activities. NYCHA residents should contact their local community center for more information and can find their nearest community center by using NYCHA's Community Engagement & Partnerships Map. NYCHA senior centers reopened on June 14, 2021, and all participants are required to wear face coverings and maintain social distance. Older adults can also contact Aging Connect at 212-244-6469 for more information on their nearest senior center and available services. Throughout the year, NYCHA community centers and senior centers are operated by non-profit service providers, through our DFTA, DYCD, and DOE City agency partners.
Q. Can NYCHA residents pay rent in person?
A. There will be no in-person rent collection. Rent should be paid via mail, phone, MyNYCHA app, and online through authorized banks. If you are concerned about paying rent or experiencing financial hardship, you should visit on.nyc.gov/rent-hardship for more information about programs you may qualify for.
Q. Will NYCHA evict residents during the COVID-19 crisis?
A. NYCHA has resumed lease enforcement policies that can result in eviction.
On January 15, 2022, Hardship Declarations were no longer a basis to delay an eviction proceeding and NYCHA will not accept any declarations after that date.
Q. Will NYCHA provide rent forgiveness to residents?
One of the most significant benefits of public housing is that there is always a built-in safety net for residents who cannot pay rent. When NYCHA residents lose full or partial income, or receive unemployment benefits, due to COVID-19 or any other circumstance, their rent will decrease and will still always be 30 percent of their household income. This means that if the household income is zero, we can reduce the rent to zero.
When a resident reports zero household income, their housing assistant must conduct a personal interview and complete a questionnaire with the head of household. This will be done on a quarterly basis until a new income is reported.
Q. What can NYCHA residents do if they have lost income and they are not able to pay their rent?
A. NYCHA residents can apply for a rent hardship if their hours have been cut at work or if they have lost their jobs. Rent for public housing residents is always 30 percent of their household income. If a resident has no income at this time, their rent will be zero.
To apply for a rent hardship, residents should immediately fill out an Interim Recertification. An Interim Recertification is a change in a household’s composition, income, disability, senior, citizenship status, or student status that occurs between Annual Recertification periods.
There is NO waiting period to report loss of income to NYCHA. (The standard two-month waiting period that is normally required to apply for an Interim Recertification has been suspended.)
Q. How can a NYCHA resident apply for an interim with NYCHA?
A. There are two different ways residents can apply for an Interim Recertification:
Visit NYCHA’s Self-Service Portal at selfserve.nycha.info
Contact their Property Management Office to request a paper application.
Using the NYCHA Self-Service Portal is the quickest and easiest method to apply for an interim. We simplified the online form, which uses Google Translate to access the application in over 100 languages. Residents may refer to this guide for the step-by-step process.
Step 1: Go to selfserve.nycha.info.
Step 2: Identify the reason for an interim.
Step 3: Read and complete the questions related to your interim.
Step 4: Photograph and upload documentation that supports your request.
Step 5: Review the information and documents provided and hit submit.
Customer Contact Center:
Residents can now also call the CCC at 718-707-7771 (option 5) to check the status of their Annual or Interim Recertification over the phone or request a mailing of their latest Lease Addendum.
Residents who require translation services when they call the CCC to complete the Interim Recertification application will be simultaneously connected with the Language Helpline, which will assist them throughout the process.
Property Management Office:
Residents may call or visit their Property Management Office to request a paper Interim Recertification application. They must provide supporting documents with their paper application or take a picture/upload/scan any documents and email them to their Property Management Office. Once residents have completed and submitted the application, they will be mailed a confirmation notice that the interim was received and is being processed.
Q. Is the Interim Recertification available in other languages?
For residents’ convenience, we have translated the application into 13 different languages. Residents may use the translated application to review the questions in the language of their choice, but they must complete and submit the English application.
Q. After a resident submits an Interim Recertification, when should they expect to receive a rent adjustment?
A. If Property Management determines that all necessary documentation was submitted, staff will resolve the interim within 60 days after they received a confirmation notice. If Property Management finds that additional information is still required, then they will receive an additional information request by mail, within 60 days, stating which documents are needed. They will be given an additional 30 days to provide those documents or risk cancellation. If all documentation is submitted after an additional information request, Property Management will resolve your interim within 60 days after receipt of the requested documents.
Any rent adjustments for residents with completed Interim Recertifications will be mailed a Lease Addendum stating the new rent and when it will go into effect.
If a resident does not see a change in their rent immediately, NYCHA will accept partial rent payments until the application is processed.
Q. Are there rent hardship programs NYCHA residents can apply for?
A. NYCHA residents may apply for New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which provides New Yorkers who are behind in rent and have suffered financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic with rental assistance. Eligible New Yorkers can apply for payments for up to 12 months of unpaid rent accrued on or after March 13, 2020. The State will make the final determination as to whether residents are eligible for ERAP once an application has been submitted to the State. Funds are limited and subject to program eligibility, so residents should act soon.
New NYCHA applicants may apply by logging on to the Self-Service Portal to fill out a simple consent form that allows NYCHA to apply for ERAP on their behalf.
NYCHA residents who have already submitted an ERAP application should send their ERAP application number, along with their first and last name, date of birth, development name, and their nine-digit account number, to firstname.lastname@example.org so NYCHA can complete the application with the State.
The State will make the final determination as to whether a resident is eligible for ERAP after the application has been submitted. If approved, the funds will go directly to NYCHA and will be reflected in the resident’s rent bill.
Eligible NYCHA residents can refer to the Quick Reference Guide on Applying for Emergency Rental Assistance if they need help filling out the ERAP consent form on the Self-Service Portal.
Q. What can NYCHA residents do if they haven’t lost income but are still not able to pay their rent, utilities, or other bills?
A. Residents can visit the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to request one-time assistance. For more information on the One Shot Deal, visit the Access HRA website: nyc.gov/accesshra.
Q. Is NYCHA moving forward with termination proceedings against any tenants?
A. NYCHA’s Office of Impartial Hearings reopened to the public on October 12, 2021. NYCHA will be scheduling certain termination of tenancy proceedings for hearings in accordance with NYCHA’s termination of tenancy procedures. When hearings recommence, remote hearings will be offered as an option. Additionally, NYCHA is working with HRA’s Office of Civil Justice to implement the City’s Right to Counsel program, and all Section 9 termination of tenancy proceedings will go through that program before a hearing is scheduled.
Q. How is NYCHA informing residents that administrative hearing dates and/or court dates have been moved?
A. NYCHA continues to provide information to all our residents regarding eviction suspension, rent hardship and rent payments, office closures, and other administrative changes through emails, NYCHA websites, social media, and property signage.
Q. Are there any changes to the Annual Recertification process and/or deadline associated with that process?
A. The Annual Recertification process will continue normally. As always, residents have five months from the initial notification to complete the recertification.
Public housing residents may complete their Annual Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at selfserve.nycha.info. They may also continue to request a paper Annual Recertification packet, though they may experience delays in receiving that packet. Residents may mail the completed packet to the P.O. Box listed in the instructions or they may drop off the completed packet at their Property Management Office (by appointment only).
The Section 8 recertification process will also continue normally, though participants may experience delays in processing. NYCHA staff will prioritize Interim Recertifications for reduced incomes.
Q. Are there any changes to NYCHA’s emergency transfer process?
A. NYCHA continues to offer emergency transfers to residents experiencing domestic violence or abuse during the COVID-19 crisis. NYCHA’s partner, Safe Horizon, is available through its Community Program Helpline, and together we have promoted services through all of our digital communications platforms to ensure families have options and support, and can remain safely sheltered.
Q. Is NYCHA continuing to move families into vacant apartments?
A. During these uncertain times, NYCHA’s priority is to keep New Yorkers healthy and housed. We continue to move families into NYCHA apartments during the state of emergency.
Section 8 operations may continue to change throughout the pandemic. Additional information or changes will be posted on the NYCHA website and The NYCHA Journal. Also, Section 8 property owners and participants should visit the Self-Service Portal and Owner Extranet periodically for status updates and to print any needed documents.
Q. How can I submit Section 8 requests, access documents, or check status updates?
A. The Owner Extranet and Self-Service Portal remain available for online submission of requests, documents, status updates, and general case information. The Owner Extranet and Self-Service Portal can be accessed online via smartphone, tablet, or computer. In addition, for those unable to access the online portals, please call NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Q. Is there a rental assistance program for Section 8 residents who can’t pay rent?
A.NYCHA encourages households experiencing an inability to pay rent due to a loss of income to visit the Self-Service Portal. NYCHA encourages all landlords to assist in connecting their tenants with rental assistance programs. Section 8 participants can report a decrease in household income by completing an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at selfserve.nycha.info. Households without internet access may submit a request to P.O. Box 19196, Long Island City, NY 11101-9196.
New York City offers a variety of rental assistance programs for tenants in need. Please refer your tenant to ACCESS NYC or have them call 311 and request the “Tenant Helpline.”
New Yorkers in low- and moderate-income households who are struggling to pay their rent can apply for assistance through the New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Applicants to this program are automatically protected from eviction while their application is pending and will receive a year of eviction protections if they qualify for assistance. The application is available here.
Q. Will there still be Annual and Interim Recertifications?
A. Yes, Annual and Interim Recertifications are still being processed. Annual Recertification is still a program requirement and supporting documentation is still necessary for completion of an Annual Recertification.
Loss of income can be reported via the Self-Service Portal (selfserve.nycha.info); by mail to PO Box 19196, Long Island City, NY 11101-9196; or by calling NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.
Q. Is NYCHA still doing eligibility interviews?
A. Applicant eligibility interviews and informal conferences will be performed over the phone. If approved, the voucher can be downloaded from the Self-Service Portal at selfserve.nycha.info.
Q. Is NYCHA still conducting inspections?
A. NYCHA has resumed in-person Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections. A remote inspection option is available upon request. NYCHA resumed abatements of housing assistance payments for unrepaired HQS violations as of June 1, 2021.
NYCHA will accept an owner’s Certification of Completed Repairs NE-2, NYCHA form 059.307, for inspections that initially failed only for non-life-threatening conditions. However, NYCHA will follow up by scheduling a reinspection of the unit.
Life-threatening HQS violations (also known as “24-hour violations”) must be corrected. NYCHA will temporarily accept, until further notice, an NE-2 certification form and completed work order ticket(s), and/or paid invoice(s) from a supplier for the repairs, to verify completed repairs for 24-hour violations cited during an HQS inspection conducted on December 31, 2019, or later. Please note that NYCHA may conduct random quality control inspections to confirm repairs.
Q. What about other processes, such as lease renewals, contract rent changes, transfer requests, and termination actions? Are those still going through?
A. Lease renewals and contract rent changes can be submitted via the Owner Extranet, mail, and email at email@example.com.
Rental packages will be accepted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and mail at PO Box 19199, Long Island City, NY 11101-9199. If you mail your rental package, please call NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to confirm that NYCHA has received the rental packet. Transfer requests are being processed, but there will be a delay in receiving transfer vouchers in the mail. Please periodically check the Self-Service Portal, where you will be able to print vouchers, if possible.
NYCHA issues transfer vouchers with an initial term of 120 days. As of September 1, 2021, automatic voucher extensions are no longer being issued. However, participants may call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to request an extension of their voucher.
NYCHA has resumed termination actions related to annual recertification and inspections. NYCHA will begin enforcement action with the initial termination warning notification, in accordance with NYCHA policy and procedure.
All other termination actions related to other program noncompliance matters have also resumed and are processed in accordance with NYCHA policy and procedures.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.
Q. Are NYCHA Property Management Offices open?
A. NYCHA’s Property Management Offices are open and visitors are permitted. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings.
Q. Can residents use NYCHA’s Walk-in Centers during this time?
A. NYCHA’s Brooklyn and Bronx Customer Contact Walk-in Centers are closed to the public until further notice.
Q. Is the Law Department Service Window open to accept services of process during this time?
A. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCHA’s Law Department Service Window was temporarily closed and the Law Department was accepting service of process via email and mail. On November 5, 2020, NYCHA’s Law Department Service Window re-opened part time. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The types of service papers received at the window include orders to show cause, notices of claim, summonses, subpoenas, and other legal papers. Because the window will only be open two days a week, the Law Department will continue to accept service of process via email at ServiceECF@nycha.nyc.gov and via mail at: NYCHA Law Department, 90 Church Street, 11th floor, New York, NY 10007, Attn: Law Department/Service
Q. Is NYCHA suspending events such as Resident Association elections, annual Family Days, and other planned community events?
A. NYCHA has resumed some in-person public meetings and events at NYCHA offices and developments. Family Days and Resident Association elections have been held virtually and in person.
Q. Are NYCHA playgrounds and basketball courts open?
A. NYCHA’s playgrounds and basketball courts are open.
Q. Will NYCHA’s Monthly Board Meetings continue as scheduled?
A. NYCHA’s Board of Directors meetings have been taking place remotely since the April 29, 2020 Board Meeting. The meetings are livestreamed on YouTube, and can be viewed here. To view the full Board Meeting schedule, visit https://on.nyc.gov/boardmeetings.