New York City extends moratorium on evictions until August

New York state lawmakers on Monday passed legislation that would extend a statewide moratorium on residential and business evictions until August 31.

The extension would provide additional relief to tenants, who have enjoyed broad legal protection since the pandemic began, just as New York is expected to start distributing $ 2.4 billion in rent assistance to tenants. in trouble.

This financial assistance will provide up to a year of unpaid rents and utilities, a financial lifeline not only for tenants, but also for their landlords, many of whom have endured more than a year of low incomes.

Together, the moratorium extension and rental aid comes as New York State, along with New Jersey and Connecticut, announced plans to lift nearly all of its pandemic restrictions later this month, offering a chance to stimulate the economy a year after the region became a center of the pandemic.

The moratorium on state evictions would extend previous state protections, which expired on May 1, and go further than the national moratorium, which expires on June 30 and was imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state’s new eviction order would take effect once Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs it.

Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 49,000 eviction cases have been filed in the New York housing court, the highest number among any US city, according to the Princeton University Eviction Lab. Although most evictions are suspended, cases can still be brought to the courts.

Analysis of forensic data shows that the areas of New York City hardest hit by the virus – largely the black and Latino neighborhoods of the Bronx and Queens – have had the highest number of eviction cases. On average, tenants owe $ 8,150 in unpaid rent to the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, a coalition of non-profit housing organizations.

Tenants cannot be evicted if they can show financial or health hardship due to the pandemic. Lawmakers have said without a moratorium on evictions hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, if not more, could lose their homes.

In addition to protections for tenants, New York’s new law would also protect small landlords who have not been able to pay off their mortgages, protecting them from tax lien sales or foreclosures. Commercial tenants with fewer than 50 employees can also file a hardship declaration to benefit from eviction protection measures.


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