Evictions loom for renters as moratorium expiration nears

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s crunch time for struggling tenants to figure out their next move. The state moratorium is set to run out in a matter of days and there will be no federal protections.

New York State has allocated $2.7 billion dollars for renters and landlords. New Yorkers could begin applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help people behind on their rent for reasons connected to COVID starting June 1.

People are wondering where all the money is and Gov. Kathy Hochul is trying to speed things up.

The deadline for the NY state moratorium is set to end on August 31, 2021.

On Friday Gov. Hochul called for a special session with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker. She wants to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision.

On Thursday the Supreme Court struck down the federal moratorium, removing protections for millions of Americans who have not been able to make rent payments.

Gov. Hochul says her team will be working through the weekend to address how best to deliver relief to renters and homeowners in need as quickly as possible.

“It’s a can getting kicked down the road over, and over, and over again,” said Peter Ramotski.

Ramotski is a landlord in Albany. He’s at his wits end waiting for thousands of dollars in rent. It’s been a year since he has received any rent payments from one of his tenants.

“He decided he didn’t want to pay anymore. My tenant filed for eviction and I couldn’t do nothing so this guy is living on my dime. I now have to work more to afford it,” said Ramotwski.

Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay and Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts Lawrence Marks, and Office of Temporary Disability Assistance Commissioner Michael Hein, calling on them to take immediate steps to allow tenants and landlords to receive critical financial relief and avoid potential evictions.

In the letter to state officials, the legislative leaders proposed a series of recommendations that would create efficiencies within the court system to align tenants and landlords with access to available funding from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (EARP). Among those recommendations are steps to: 

  • Ensure housing courts are open and active; 
  • Facilitate greater coordination between the courts and OTDA to bring more eligible applicants into the program; and 
  • Require OTDA to have on-site staff in regions of the state where evictions are expected to be more prevalent. 

“The state has been very slow in getting this money out. It’s a real tragedy because the rent moratorium didn’t include landlords. So the landlords still had to pay all their bills, and they weren’t getting income from tenants,” said Barclay. 

Barclay says this proposal is a way to educate both landlords and tenants on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and get the money out of the door faster.

“It’s really a program to pay rent but it goes directly to the landlord. So it’s kind of a win win the tenant gets their rent paid through the money from the federal government to the state,” said Barclay. 

“We need tenants to apply, and we need the landlords to receive the funding. Because if it does not happen, we will have tenants be evicted, and properties will fall in great despair and decline. It’s going to hurt all the residents and taxpayers of the communities,” said Assemblymember John McDonald.  

Ramotski is hoping he can receive his rent payments sooner than later.

“I hope within the next few weeks I can get paid and I can move forward here,” said Ramotski.

If you are a tenant or landlord in need of assistance, you can go to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Empire State Weekly

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam
CHECK OUT OUR NEW APP FEATURES

Latest COVID-19 News

More COVID-19