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Dear Neighbors,

Among the most critical issues facing New Yorkers – after over a year of the pandemic and job losses -- is the possibility of eviction. All levels of government are redoubling their efforts to prevent evictions.

The Federal government has authorized $2.3 billion to pay for past rent due. The State is distributing the money via a new COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CERAP). While NYS has not finalized all the details, here’s what we know so far about CERAP.
  • The State has $2.3 billion to give tenants to pay rent arrears that have built up since March 2020;
  • Tenants are eligible regardless of immigration status if their household income is below 80% of "area median income," which you can look up here;
  • If you have an eviction case, it will be stayed while you apply, so you can't be evicted while waiting for your application to be processed.
We do not yet know:
  • When the applications will be available;
  • What paperwork tenants will have to submit;
  • How long it will take for applications to be processed;
  • How long it will be before all the $2.3 billion is spent.
Last week, TakeRoot Justice made a presentation at our monthly housing clinic with more details. Watch the presentation here. Read a helpful CERAP fact sheet from TakeRoot Justice here. My office will be sharing additional information about CERAP as soon as it is available.

Tenants should also know that the City Council recently passed legislation which expands the City’s anti-eviction efforts and increases access to legal services across the five boroughs. A second piece of legislation will help to ensure that tenants are informed about their rights in housing court and available legal assistance.

It is absolutely essential that tenants in danger of eviction and homelessness receive every possible support. I am very proud to be a sponsor of both bills, and thank my colleague Mark Levine for his tremendous leadership in pushing them forward.

Tenants in need of assistance can also attend a virtual Tenant Resource Fair this Thursday (5/13), from 6 to 8pm, sponsored by the NYC Dept of Housing Preservation & Development and Allen AME church. Click here to learn more and register.


Updates for Older Adults
I'm delighted to share the news that the NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has authorized grab-and-go meals at older adult centers as an approved low-risk, outdoor activity. This is an important first step in the City's phased-in approach to re-opening its centers. Older adults will be able to pick up the nutritious meals that they have missed for over a year.

Re-opening centers for meal pick-up will also be an opportunity to support the City’s efforts to vaccinate older New Yorkers. We will provide more information shortly regarding when older adult centers in our area will be re-opening.

My office is actively reaching out to older adults to remind them that they may be eligible for a wide range of benefits, including assistance with food, medical, and utility costs, as well as rent freezes and lower property taxes.

If you missed our recent webinar with LiveOn NY about how to access these benefits, you can review detailed slides from the presentation here.

If you would like benefits screening and application assistance, phone (212) 398-5045, or email [email protected]. You can also complete an intake form with LiveOn NY here.


Financial Assistance for Internet Service & Devices
Beginning tomorrow (5/12), people who receive Medicaid, SNAP, Lifeline and meet other income eligibility guidelines can apply for the Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit. The program provides assistance with up to a $50 subsidy for internet bills and a potential $100 voucher to acquire a tablet or computer. 

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), using an online or mail in application. You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting, or by calling 833-511-0311

(You may also be eligible if you: participate in the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, received a Pell Grant, or are eligible for an internet service provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.)


Webinar for Building Owners: Indoor Allergen Laws Covering Pests & Mold
Join this useful webinar presented by the NYC Dept of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) this Tuesday, May 11th, from 6 to 8pm. Pre-registration is required. Register here.

Topics include:
• Eliminating and preventing infestations of mice, rats, cockroaches, and other pests
• Identifying current and future sources of mold
• Proper work methods for eliminating mold conditions and pest infestations
• Reviewing the city and state laws that underlie the Asthma-Free Housing Act
• Annual notification and inspection requirements and the annual Bedbug Filing (Local Law 69 of 2017)
• Steps to correct and remove HPD violations for Indoor Allergen Hazards 

Housing Survey for NYC Animal Owners/Guardians
Are you a pet owner? Please complete this survey by Monday, May 17th to assist the Mayor's Office of Animal Welfare in understanding the housing issues faced by animal owners/guardians in New York City. 

To ensure that pet owners have equitable access to affordable housing, the Mayor's Office is developing a Pet-Accessible Housing initiative. This includes studying the impact of housing-related pet policies on the number of animals entering municipal animal shelters. To help keep people and their pets together, the Mayor's Office is also identifying and developing resources for housing providers so they can adopt more pet-accessible policies.


CUNY Citizenship NOW! is holding another “Immigration Q & A” Zoom event on May 27th. Legal staff will meet individually with constituents to answer their questions. They will also screen constituents to see if they are eligible for any other immigration benefits.

You must call prior to the event for an appointment time slot. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with your appointment time, Zoom link, and details about the event. Registration closes at noon on May 26th.


New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on the UWS
Exciting news for local air quality! After a technical review and feedback from constituents, the Dept of Transportation will be installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the following locations this spring and summer:
  • West 93rd Street, from Central Park West to Columbus Ave
  • West 86th Street, from West End Ave to Riverside Drive
  • West 70th Street, from West End Ave to Amsterdam Ave
DOT is working in partnership with Con Edison to install EV chargers at curbside locations across the five boroughs. The chargers will be in place for up to four years as part of a demonstration project.

Studies have shown that the lack of publicly accessible charging infrastructure is a barrier to the adoption of EVs. Curbside chargers provide support for current and future EV owners at a cost competitive with gasoline, and help to reduce toxic fuel emissions in our community. Read this EV Charger FAQ sheet and the DOT Electric Vehicles page for more information. 

Job Openings: Spread the Word!
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is immediately hiring full-time, seasonal workers to help maintain our vital green infrastructure across the city. This is a great opportunity to work outside while helping to keep our city beautiful. Apply at

Revel, an all-electric, all-employee rideshare service, is hiring 150 non-gig employee drivers to start work this summer. Revel drivers are eligible for benefits like health care and paid time off. To learn more and apply for a driver position, click here. To learn more about Revel, click here.
COVID-19 Updates

1.) 24-hour subway service is returning and indoor dining in NYC has expanded to 75% capacity. Read other re-opening updates here.

2.) Please keep your COVID-19 vaccination card safe after you have been vaccinated— scammers are using the pandemic to try to steal your personal information.
  • Don't share a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online or on social media. 
  • If you did not receive a vaccination card at your first vaccine appointment, contact the site where you were vaccinated or call 877-829-4692.
  • If someone contacts you to buy or sell a vaccination card, it's a scam.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). TTY users can call 1-800-377-4950.
3.) All City-run vaccination sites are now open to ALL New Yorkers. This  includes City-run "walk-up" sites (age 16+ accepted at Pfizer sites; age 18+ accepted at Moderna sites).

Click here for the most up-to-date list of walk-up vaccination sites. The largest walk-up site in our district is the American Museum of Natural History at 200 Central Park West. It offers the Moderna vaccine Friday--Tuesday, 9am--6pm.

A reminder that all New Yorkers 16 years and older are eligible for the vaccine. Vaccinations can also be scheduled via the City of NY’s Vaccine Hub, its Vaccine Finder, or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692.

Please check the NYS Dept of Health website and the NYC Dept of Health website regularly for vaccination updates and additional information.

4.) Masks for Children: The MTA has begun distribution of 60,000 child-size masks throughout the subway system. Child size masks are available upon request at all MTA staffed booths and at Staten Island's St. George railway station. Learn more here.

5.) Live performance, film and tv workers have a new dedicated vaccination site in Times Square, located at 47th Street & 7th Avenue. To schedule an appointment, please call (917) 281-5937 or email [email protected] with your name and phone number.

6.) Fully homebound New Yorkers who wish to receive an in-home vaccination: Please click here or call 877-829-4692. You will receive a phone call to confirm your eligibility and schedule the appointment; on that call, please also make sure to request in-home vaccination for other eligible household members (eligibility criteria listed here). Please note that there is high interest in this program -- but you will receive a call back.

7.) The Vaccine for All Corps is enlisting 2,000 New Yorkers to support City vaccination efforts across the five boroughs. Hiring for the first tranche of these positions is live at Healthcare experience is not required for many of the positions. 
Residents from NYC communities hit hardest by COVID-19 are especially invited to apply.

8.) Assistance with Pandemic-Related Funeral Expenses. FEMA is now accepting applications from persons seeking financial assistance with COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020Please check FEMA's website to learn more.

Veterans: VA New York Harbor is offering vaccinations to veterans 65 and older who are enrolled in VA Healthcare. Click here to learn more or call 1-877-877-9267.

Transportation for Seniors to Vaccination Appointments
New Yorkers age 65+ who make a vaccination appointment at a City-operated site will be asked if they need transportation to get to and from their appointment, and a variety of options will be provided.

Resources for Immigrant Communities During COVID-19
Many city services are available to all New Yorkers no matter their immigration status or ability to pay. View the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ (MOIA) resource guide at

If you have questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID-19 crisis, call the City's hotline at (212) 788-7654 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday or email [email protected].

Public Charge: In New York City, healthcare is a human right. Use of health services related to COVID-19 will not be considered under the public charge rule and will not impact your ability to apply for a green card or citizenship. For more information visit:

Stay Informed! Helpful COVID-19 information sources include: 
Assistance for NYers Who Test Positive for Covid
NYC Health & Hospitals' Test & Trace Corps provides special services for New Yorkers who test positive, and their close contacts. This includes equipment so a household can quarantine safely, free hotel rooms if quarantining at home is impossible, pet care, and more.
COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment for Manhattan Businesses
Business owners in need of supplies for themselves and their employees should email the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce at [email protected].
Updates & Resources for Small Businesses
Virtual Town Hall: Small Business Recovery Resources
Join State Senator Liz Krueger and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 13th, from 7pm – 8:30pm to hear from the experts about local, state, and federal resources for small businesses.  

  • Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
  • Natalie Mendell, Director of Business Recovery, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
  • Senator Anna Kaplan, Chair, Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee, NYS Senate
  • Sylvia Rivera, Economic Development Specialist, Small Business Administration (invited)
Join the event online via Zoom or Facebook (you do not need a Facebook account or profile). You can also listen in by phone.

Please register and submit your questions here. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom and Facebook links, and the call-in information. Attendees will be able to submit questions through Zoom and Facebook during the event but are strongly encouraged to submit them in advance. 

NYS will continue to lift COVID dining restrictions in the coming weeks. Learn more here.  
  • Seating is now allowed at bars in New York City, consistent with State-issued food service guidance;
  • The curfew will be removed for private outdoor dining areas beginning May 17, and removed for indoor areas beginning May 31; 
  • Curfew for catered events where attendees have proof of vaccination status or negative COVID test result will be lifted beginning May 17, and curfew for all catered events lifted May 31; 
  • Catered events can now resume at residences in accordance with the State's Reopening Guidelines. 
Federal Assistance for Restaurants
The federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provides non-taxable grants to restaurants hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. Individual restaurants may qualify for up to $5 million and restaurant groups may be eligible for up to $10 million in grant funding. This grant is designed to reimburse you for any revenue your business lost between 2019 and 2020.    

RRF applications are now being accepted. Anyone considering applying is urged to start organizing their application as soon as possible.

The City has launched Fair Share NYC: Restaurants, a program to help eligible applicants secure these critical funds through: 
  • Weekly webinars to review the RRF grant program and prepare their application 
  • Virtual one-on-one sessions with trained counselors 
  • Information about additional programs and services that can help your business 
Returning to the office? Adapt to the New Normal 
As we recover from the pandemic, NYC Dept of Small Business Services (SBS) is offering a limited 4-session workshop series to help small businesses adapt to the new and "next" normal. This series will provide strategies, tools, and resources for business owners. Learn more & RSVP here. Session dates: 
  • Tuesday, June 8th; 6 - 7:30pm
  • Thursday, June 10th; 6 - 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, June 15th; 6 - 7:30pm
  • Thursday, June 17th; 6 - 7:30pm
Free Assistance for UWS Small Business Owners
The NYC Small Business Resource Network (SBRN) is a private/public partnership providing local businesses with free, personalized guidance during the pandemic. Business owners should complete a brief intake form here, and they will be matched with their own Business Support Specialist who will guide them through a variety of economic recovery resources. 

SBRN is funded by a $2.8 million grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and led by the Partnership for New York City, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and all five borough Chambers of Commerce. It leverages the city’s corporate, financial and professional services sectors, as well as universities, philanthropies and expert volunteers to help small business owners gain access to a range of programs and services.

Federal Relief for Small Businesses
The deadline for applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended to May 31st. The program currently offers: 
NYC SBS' Fair Share NYC provides free webinars, technical assistance and access to lenders to help businesses interested in applying for PPP loans. For more information, visit or call 888-SBS-4NYC.

Pace University offers a variety of grants for small businesses. Learn more here.

Webinars for Businesses

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce offers on-line programs covering a variety of topics important to small businesses. Click here for viewing information.

For Public School Families

2021 Education Council Elections
Through May 11th, parents of public school students can vote for members of NYC's Education Councils. Parent candidates are running to represent their school community at the citywide and local levels. Learn more about the Education Councils and the elections in this Voting Guide FAQ, and find a list of upcoming forums on the DOE website.

Special Education Family Forum
Families are invited to a virtual NYC Dept of Education Special Education Forum on May 20th, from 3pm - 7:30pm. Attendees will learn about a variety of special education topics from experts, hear from parent leaders, and obtain tools to support participation in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

DOE's interactive workshops have been developed to meet the diverse learning needs of families who are new to special education, those with children who are preparing for life after high school, and everything in between. To learn more about the Forum and register, click here.

Summer Rising, the DOE's new free summer program, is available to all K-12th grade students, including students with disabilities. Families of students in grades K-8 can sign up through Discover DYCD. Schools will be reaching out to high school students and students with 12-month IEPs to discuss participation and program options. Learn more here.

3-K for All Expansion
The DOE is expanding 3-K for All to every school district, and will be adding up to 15,000 more seats by the end of the 2021-22 school year. The City says there will be approximately 43,000 3-K seats available across all 32 community school districts.

Applications for 3-K for All have been extended to May 28th. Programs in new school districts will be added to the applications as options for families in April and May. Families can visit to sign up to receive email updates when new programs are added, and to learn how to create a MySchools account to explore and apply to programs.

Financial Aid for College
The Student Leadership Network has put together free resources to help guide high school seniors through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process. Click here to learn more!

Health & Wellness Resources

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
As we all know, this is a profoundly stressful time. If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, please reach out for support and help. One option is NYC Well, the City's confidential helpline for mental health and substance misuse services. Trained counselors can provide you with support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages. Click here; call: 1-888-NYC-Well (1-888-692-9355); or text: “Well” to 65173.

Support For City Employees
If managing your stress is beginning to feel like a full-time job, consider reaching out to the NYC Employee Assistance Program. All EAP services are available Monday through Friday, 8am – 9pm. Contact the EAP by email at [email protected] or leave a message at (212) 306-7660.

The Visiting Nurse Service of NY provides free, in-home mental health services for seniors who are coping with depression. Available in Manhattan & Queens. Multiple languages spoken, including English, Spanish and Chinese. Phone (718) 888-6884. Learn more here.

Youth Advisory Council: Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is forming a Youth Advisory Council to provide space, seek feedback, and prioritize the perspectives of a diverse group of youth voices on mental health. CMI's hope is that the Council can help them better support youth in our communities.

CMI programs serve hundreds of schools in New York and California annually, and have reached over 53,000 students, educators, and parents. The Youth Advisory Council will play a pivotal role in shaping their impact and ability to effectively reach youth audiences. High school students can register here. Please contact Emily Abromowitz at [email protected] with questions.

Free Vision Screenings: University Eye Center
Free screenings are available Monday, May 24th, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Screenings are by appointment only. All ages welcome. Infants under 18 months can have a complete eye exam done for free instead of a screening.
  • Phone (212) 938-4001, Monday - Friday (9am - 5pm) and Saturday (8:30am - 4:30pm)
  • Location: University Eye Center, SUNY College of Optometry, 33 W. 42nd Street
Webinar: Vision and Hearing Tips, Technology, & Services
Join Community Board 7’s Senior Task Force on May 26th, from 10:30 – 11:45am, for this free webinar. Experts from the Lighthouse Guild and the Center for Hearing and Communication will discuss: aging and vision; low vision rehabilitation; basics of hearing loss; tips for improving communication; and introduction to low cost and cutting edge devices.

Learn more about the webinar here. You can register here for the webinar, or by phone: (212) 362-4008. 

Webinars for Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's
CaringKind's training and education programs help caregivers and professionals understand and navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. The live webinars are led by staff members, volunteer attorneys, and guest speakers. See the May webinar schedule here.
To register for upcoming webinars or for information on programming available in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese, contact CaringKind's Helpline at (646) 744-2900. Registration is free.   

"Million Mile May" Cycling Challenge

Million Mile May is a free virtual cycling adventure in which you pick a distance goal, challenge yourself to take daily rides, and get ready to climb the leaderboard. Every time you pedal, you're helping Bike New York reach their goal of biking 1,000,000 miles in 31 days to support public cycling education. Learn more and register here.

Free Fitness Saturdays for Your Family
Body Sculpt of New York, a not-for-profit health and fitness organization, and the United Federation of Teachers are presenting “Family Fitness Saturdays” from Saturday, May 1st to Saturday, June 5th, from 11am to 12:30pm via Zoom. Learn more here. Free for the entire family! Register here.

NYC Veterans Survey
Are you a veteran, active duty service member, reservist, guardsman, veteran family member, military spouse, or military caregiver who lives in New York City? NYC Dept of Veterans’ Services (DVS) is conducting a survey to help NYC policymakers identify and best understand the needs of our veteran community. Your response will remain anonymous unless you opt-in to receive support services from DVS. Take the survey here.

May 13th: Take a Stand Against Street Harassment with Hollaback
Have you ever witnessed street harassment, wanted to step in, but had no idea what to do? Hollaback!, L’Oréal Paris, the NYC Commission on Gender Equity, and the NYC Mayor's Office to End Domestic & Gender-Based Violence have joined forces to help people safely intervene when they experience or witness harassment in public spaces through virtual bystander intervention trainings. will be hosting a training on Thursday, 5/13 at noon. Click here to sign up!

Community Reminders

May 17th Is the Filing Deadline for 2020 Tax Returns!
1 in 2 NYC households are eligible for FREE tax prep! Learn more at or call 311 and ask for “tax preparation assistance.” Services available in multiple languages.
  • Do you have questions about federal stimulus payments or claiming tax credits? Did you receive unemployment insurance in 2020 and need help filing your taxes?
  • Use NYC Free Tax Prep to file for free and keep your WHOLE refund.
If you earned $68,000 or less in 2020, learn how you can file for free with the help of an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer. Preparers can help you file your taxes, claim important tax credits (including federal stimulus payments), and avoid tax preparer fees.

Use the safe and reliable online options – including Self-Prep with Help - to save you time. Please note that in-person and drop-off services are extremely limited. 

Register to Vote By May 28th
A reminder that New York City's Primary Elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough Presidents, and members of the City Council are on June 22nd.

To vote in this Primary, voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than May 28th, and received by the Board of Elections no later than June 2nd. You can also register on-line. Learn more here.
  • Ranked-choice voting will be used in this year’s Primary and Special Elections. Learn more here and here. Watch a helpful video here!
  • If you wish to vote using an absentee ballot, please request one as soon as possible. You can request an Absentee Ballot here; and request an Accessible Ballot here.
  • Please call 1-866-VOTE-NYC or email [email protected] with questions. Assistance is available in multiple languages.

Educational & Cultural Resources

NY Public Library Enters Phase 2 of Re-Opening
  • All of NYPL’s research libraries will open limited spaces to patrons by appointment only. Appointments can only be made following a virtual consultation with research staff. Click here for NYPL updates.
For local and citywide environmental news and events, sign up for newsletters from UWS Recycling, which come out 6 times/year. Read the May/June Eco Letter here!

Series 2: "Mission to Clean the Environment"
Seniors and retirees are again invited to join NYC Community Green Makers for COVID-safe environmental activities and free zoom classes. The first of four Wednesday classes is on May 12th. Participants will learn via videos and Zoom classes, along with visits to local gardens. Topics include: microplastics, climate change and the oceans, the herbarium project at New York Botanical Garden, and gardening at Riverside Park with native plants.

Learn more at NYC Community Green Makers Facebook page, and sign-up by sending an email to [email protected]. Please include your name, phone number, and address. You can also call Joyce Bialik at (347) 562-8708.

On-Line Cultural Programs
  • New York Music Month Extended Play is New York City’s official celebration of its music scene, offering free classes, workshops, performances, and talks to support artists, industry, and fans during the pandemic. Runs through June, 2021. Learn more here.
  • Free musical concerts and performances from the Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall. Learn more here.
  • Lincoln Center Theater's annual gala, "Tales from the Wings," will stream free of charge on LCT's YouTube channel from May 13th at 7pm to May 17th. Learn more here.
  • Watch "The Line," a play crafted from firsthand interviews with NYC medical first responders during the pandemic. It reveals the lived experiences of frontline workers and their battle to save lives in a medical system "built to serve the bottom line." First performed live on-line last July, this drama is available to watch now via The Public’s Play Now platform through June 21st, 2021. Learn about other on-line programs from the Public Theater here.
May Happenings At Lincoln Center
The new Green at Lincoln Center is set to open this week -- coinciding with the beginning of "Restart Stages" programming. Residents are invited to enjoy free performing arts and civic programming in outdoor spaces across the Lincoln Center campus. Learn more here!
We're Here to Help

My office assists people with housing issues, seniors, the disabled, the recently un (or under) employed, the food insecure, and all those suffering the many consequences of this pandemic, to help in any way we can. We also provide on-going advocacy with our public schools and other public services.

Please call (212) 873-0282, leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible; email [email protected]; or check our website, We update it on a regular basis with information about public benefits, non-profit resources, and health facts Upper West Siders need to get through this crisis. 


P.S. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested, or have them subscribe to my e-blasts here. Also, follow my social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 Council Member Helen Rosenthal, All rights reserved.
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