ALBANY, NY – Today, Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou introduced a bill (pending law numbers) to extend the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in New State York until October 31, 2021. In light of the failure of the New York Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide federal assistance to troubled tenants and landlords, this bill seeks to protect tenants , homeowners and small homeowners who continue to experience financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State moratorium on evictions is currently scheduled to expire on August 31, 2021.
âThe failure of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to properly distribute funds and the soaring of the Delta variant have put the livelihoods of many New Yorkers at risk. As the moratorium on evictions expires on August 31 and little COVID-19 rent aid is distributed, many New Yorkers who still owe rent arrears fear losing their homes on September 1. We cannot let hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers risk homelessness because of the negligence of our own government. The executive has let New Yorkers down, and the legislature must come together again to serve the people we were elected to serve, â noted State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
âI can’t imagine anything worse for our tenants or our economy than evicting thousands of families as the pandemic resurfaces with new deadly variants. ERAP did not do what it had the power to do: grant federal assistance to tenants in difficulty without delay. It’s not the tenants’ fault, but the tenants will pay the price if we don’t act now to protect those whose only crime was to trust our government’s promises in times of crisis â, said Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou.
“Given the rise of the delta variant and the embarrassing and belated rollout of the emergency rental assistance program by New York State, an extension of the eviction moratorium and foreclosure protections is needed. necessary. Leaving people homeless during this volatile time will only add further difficulties to the difficulties that will slow New York’s recovery. Let’s continue to vaccinate more people and withdraw funds from the ERAP before lifting these necessary protections for tenants and landlords â, noted State Senator John Liu.
“Governor Cuomo’s inability or unwillingness to urgently distribute the emergency rent relief we have allocated in the state budget leaves us with no option but to extend the moratorium on evictions. . Failure to do so risks a humanitarian and economic crisis, with hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers facing the very real threat of homelessness. We must act now â, noted Assembly Member Emily Gallagher.
âI had the experience of being homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, when I was living in a shelter, I contracted COVID and almost died. No one should have to go through what I went through, but without a moratorium on evictions, thousands of people will. We should focus on ending homelessness, not increasing the homeless population by letting people be evicted from their homes and onto the streets â, said Shams DaBaron aka “Da Homeless Hero”.
This legislation extends the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 and the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021 until October 31, 2021. These protections currently expire on August 31, 2021. The legislation provides for the following protections :
- Expulsion: Under this bill, qualifying residential and commercial tenants will continue to receive eviction relief if they submit a hardship declaration form to their landlord or to a court. By submitting the form, residential tenants must certify that they have experienced financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic which prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full, or from moving or if a member of the household is at risk. increased serious illness. of COVID. Commercial tenants must certify that they have lost income due to COVID, have had a significant increase in moving expenses, or are unable to move due to the cost of moving expenses. In addition, all tenants must certify that any government assistance they have received, including rental assistance, does not fully compensate for the loss of income.
- Foreclosure and tax lien sales: Homeowners, small homeowners who own ten units or less, including their own home, and eligible commercial homeowners and mortgagors will continue to receive foreclosure or tax lien sales relief by submitting an exemption form difficulties, following a similar procedure for tenants.
As part of the enacted budget 2021-2022, the Legislative Assembly created the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance Program. The program offers up to 12 months of rent arrears assistance and up to three months of potential rent assistance for residential tenants affected by the pandemic. Renters must have at least 80 AMIs to be eligible. The program has $ 2.35 billion in federal funds and an additional $ 100 million in state funds to distribute. Although the program opened for applications in June, only 55 households had received funds by the end of July. Over 160,000 applications were received.
The budget passed for 2021-2022 also provided funding to help small businesses, including an $ 800 grant program administered by the Empire State Development Corporation and an additional $ 200 in tax credits for qualifying businesses.