State Watch

New York state extends eviction protections through end of year

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The New York legislature on Wednesday voted to extend the state’s eviction moratorium, protecting tenants facing financial hardships because of COVID-19 from being forced out of their homes through the end of the year.

The state Assembly and Senate, both of which are controlled by Democrats, voted to extend moratoria on residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures for individuals facing financial hardships stemming from COVID-19, in addition to the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, until Jan. 15.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed the extensions on Thursday morning.

She had called a special legislative session for Wednesday to extend the eviction moratorium after the Supreme Court blocked the federal eviction freeze that was implemented by the Biden administration.

The legislation passed but received strong opposition from Republicans, according to The New York Times.

Hochul had been considering convening a special session to address the eviction moratorium and ultimately made an announcement on Tuesday.

Her goal was to get the eviction freeze extended until Jan. 15.

The extension also came after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked part of New York’s eviction moratorium, which barred landlords from challenging a tenant’s self-certified claim of financial hardship.

The legislation passed on Wednesday addressed the court’s decision, providing a tool for landlords to challenge a tenant’s declaration of hardship in court.

If the hardship claim is bolstered, the court would then be mandated to tell parties to file an application for assistance, according to the assembly.

Hochul, in a statement after signing the extensions, said the Supreme Court’s decision was “heartless.”

“To help remedy the Supreme Court’s heartless decisions striking down the New York and the Biden administration’s moratoriums on evictions, we are enacting a new moratorium on residential and commercial evictions and extending the protections of New York’s Safe Harbor Act to January 15,” Hochul said.

“These steps will alleviate the crisis facing vulnerable New Yorkers who are suffering through no fault of their own,” she added.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said the extension will give New Yorkers “peace of mind.”

“By extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for those suffering financial hardship, we will give New Yorkers the peace of mind that they can stay in their homes while they go through the process of getting rental assistance — either through ERAP or the State Supplemental Rental Assistance Fund,” Heastie said in a statement.

Updated at 5:31 p.m.

Tags COVID-19 Eviction moratorium Kathy Hochul New York Rent
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