Both chambers of the State Legislature in Albany, dominated by Democrats, passed a new law that extends the moratorium on residential tenant evictions and commercials in New York Until August 31, after the measure expired on May 1.
To benefit from this extension, affected tenants for COVID-19 must present a “Declaration of difficulty” before the State, stating that they are unable to pay their rent due to loss of income, increased pandemic-related costs or if they can show that moving would pose a health risk, either to themselves or to another member of the household.
The first vote occurred on Monday afternoon in the Assembly, in which the bill was approved with an overwhelming majority of 91 votes to 57.
“The extension of these moratoriums will give people the time they need to recover financially., will keep families in their homes and allow businesses to keep their doors open, “said Lower House Speaker Carl Heastie, adding that” while we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of the year’s global health crisis past, the economic impacts on our families and small businesses they have not diminished ”.
Then the turn to vote was for the Senate, and in that chamber the legislation passed with 42 votes to 21.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said this new extension “will continue to ensure that renters, homeowners, business owners and New York smallholders do not they have to fear losing their homes or businesses. This pandemic has been devastating on many levels and this legislation will help our residents and businesses have time to get back on their feet and recover. “
“The core of the bill was to suspend evictions in the interest of public health,” said the senator. Brian Kavanagh, a Manhattan Democrat and a sponsor of the bill.
Kavanagh added: “This restricts the eviction process because we believe, based on guidance from the CDC, that this is a necessary measure to restrict the spread of COVID-19.”
Nearly $ 3 billion in aid
Heastie recalled that the recently approved state budget included more than $ 2.5 billion in federal and state funds combined for a program to give rent relief, and assist eligible tenants with up to 12 months of assistance for the payment of rent and arrears of public services. However, this rental relief has yet to be distributed.
And the importance of the extension being approved is that it will allow New Yorkers to stay in their homes while they wait to apply for this rent relief.
The assemblyman Jeffrey dinowitz assured that tens of thousands of people throughout the state “continue to suffer the effects of COVID-19. We cannot allow people to lose their homes or businesses and we cannot allow more people to become homeless during this pandemic. “
The assemblyman added: “The extension of the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is essential to help families keep a roof over their heads and recover, and help our small businesses continue to function.”
The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Protection Act of 2020, which was approved in December last year, helped tenants and homeowners who were struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic to stay in their homes by allowing them to file hardship statements.
Similarly, the Protecting Our Small Business from the COVID-19 Emergency Act of 2021 imposed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Both laws, which will be extended by legislation passed Monday, also provide protections against tax lien and tax foreclosure, as well as protections against negative credit reports.
Judith Goldiner, lawyer in charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit of The Legal Aid Society, reacted to the approval of the extension stating: “Keeping their promise, Albany legislators passed common sense legislation to extend New York’s residential eviction moratorium for an additional four crucial months, providing a lifeline in which millions of families from Brooklyn to Buffalo and Rochester to Rensselaer have trusted since last year. Governor Cuomo should sign this bill into law without delay. “