State Watch

New York to ban evictions in midst of pandemic

The New York legislature plans to meet in a special session Monday to block eviction proceedings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as low-income families face billions nationwide in unpaid rent.

The legislature will pass what is effectively a two-month moratorium on evictions to give renters a chance to declare financial hardship caused by the pandemic and its attending economic slowdown. The bill will cover all eviction processes that begin in the next month.

“From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic we have understood that housing security must be an essential part of our effort to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers,” said state Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D), the bill’s author. “We are delivering real protection for countless renters and homeowners who would otherwise be at risk of losing their homes.”

Kavanagh’s bill will create a standardized form that residents facing financial hardships can fill out. Renters would submit the forms if they face income losses or increased costs specifically because of the pandemic.

It also postpones foreclosures and tax lien sales for residential property owners, an effort to shield smaller landlords — those who own fewer than ten rental units — and homeowners.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday he would approve the measure.

“We have an agreement with them on a housing moratorium bill,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “As soon as that bill is passed, I’ll sign it.”
The pandemic has created a growing backlog of past-due rent, one that the investment advisory firm Moody’s Analytics estimates at $70 billon across the nation. The federal government has banned evictions, a ban that the latest coronavirus relief package will now extend through the end of January.
An estimated 11 million renters have fallen behind on their rent or will not be able to pay next month, according to a weekly survey by the Census Bureau.

Several states have created their own eviction ban. California has prevented evictions through the end of January; Connecticut, Delaware, Colorado and Hawaii have extended bans deeper into February; and Washington, Oregon and Nevada will block evictions until later in the crisis.

Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have set bans that will last until the end of the crisis, without a specific date. 

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus COVID-19 Eviction moratorium New York

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