NYS lawmakers extend eviction moratorium to January

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Assembly and Senate approved the extension of the eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022 to protect struggling renters.

The bill was passed by the State Legislature late Wednesday night and will head to Governor Kathy Hochul to sign. The vote was 80 to 60.

An extraordinary session took place at the New York State Capitol as lawmakers debated extending foreclosure moratorium as well as the eviction moratorium, which ended yesterday. Governor Hochul signed a proclamation Tuesday night to call lawmakers back in town.

Lawmakers in support of the eviction moratorium say by extending it, it gives the state more time to allocate out rental assistance.

NYS Senate Majority Andrea Stewart-Cousins says it’s time to step up and protect all New Yorkers.

Stewart-Cousins says they have struggled to distribute tens of billions of dollars in pandemic relief to help renter’s address unpaid bills.

“They did give us significant amount of federal dollars in order to really help people really stay in their homes. This is now our obligation,” said she.

Lawmakers say only about 7% of the 2.7 billion rental assistance program has been distributed so far.

In addition to the eviction ban, lawmakers are poised to increase the appropriation for COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the Hardship Fund, and funding for legal services for tenants.

Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition to the extension of the eviction ban.  

“All we’re doing is punting. We’re kicking the can down the road to January. We’re not addressing the real issue. The real issue is so no one’s going to apply for the ERAP monies as long as there’s no reason if they can stay in their apartment rent free as is.” said Rob Ortt, Senate Republican Leader.

However many landlords say they will still face struggles as the eviction moratorium is extended. It could be a troublesome for landlords who own a handful of properties, but face steep unpaid rent payments.

“i fought for those freedoms and now I’m not getting them,” said Brandi LaCasse.

LaCasse is an U.s. Air Force veteran and also is an upstate New York landlord. She has has been displaced from her home after her tenants refused to pay rent for over a year.

She says with this new extension, she can’t take anymore loss.

 “I would continue to be out over $5000 a month in income so that would greatly affect me. It would add up and I still don’t have a house that I need to live. So I would be homeless for another 5 months,” said she.

“She served her country came home and wanted to become a business owner. She wanted to put roofs over peoples head. She still has to provide for that but she is not allowed essentially to collect any payment for it,” said Ortt. 

Stewart-Cousins says Wednesday’s extraordinary session with lawmakers was limited to 3 policy items. She says the plan is come back next year and continue working for New Yorkers.

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Empire State Weekly

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