Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the extension for the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 on Tuesday.
That means the moratorium on COVID-related evictions and foreclosures is extended until August 31.
Lawmakers say the legislation adds to New York State’s efforts to protect tenants and homeowners from the economic hardship incurred as a result of the as the state begins to lift restrictions on public gatherings and businesses.
“As we approach the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it is critical that we continue to protect both New York’s tenants and business owners who have suffered tremendous hardship throughout this entire pandemic,” Cuomo said. “Extending this legislation will help to ensure that vulnerable New Yorkers and business owners who are facing eviction through no fault of their own are able to keep their homes and businesses as we continue on the road to recovery and begin to build back our economy better than it was before.”
Cuomo first announced the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions in March 2020 to make sure no tenant was evicted during the height of the pandemic.
However, not everyone supports the law. The Rent Stabilization Association, New York City’s largest association of landlords, opposes the extension.
“This is nothing more than political theater, government overreach and unnecessary duplication. There already are comprehensive eviction protections in place well into next year for COVID hardship-impacted tenants, regardless of immigration status, under the state’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act and the rent relief component of the 2022 state budget bill. Tenants should be asking their Albany representatives why the state still doesn’t have a program in place to distribute New York’s allocation of $2.4 billion in federal rent relief funds that Congress approved last December. We need our state lawmakers to act with the same lightning speed as they do with their political gamesmanship to get these federal rent relief funds into the hands of financially desperate renters and landlords to address rent arrears, as other states have been doing since early February. If this money was already out the door, eviction moratorium extensions would be a moot point,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners of more than 1 million apartments in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, the city’s largest providers of affordable housing.
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