Eviction moratorium set to expire Saturday as activists, leaders push for extension
Advocates and local leaders marched through Manhattan Friday with a message for Gov. Kathy Hochul in favor of the Good Cause Eviction bill, with the eviction moratorium set to expire Saturday.
Advocates estimate that the Good Cause Eviction bill would protect 4 million New Yorkers who are vulnerable to what they are calling unfair rent hikes and evictions.
They called for the moratorium to not only be extended to June, but also for more protection for tenants. Supporters of the bill said it would allow tenants to renew leases and negotiate rent increases with their landlords.
Demonstrators outside Hochul's midtown office, called on her to extend the moratorium another six months, as thousands are still trying to rebound from the pandemic.
"Thousands of New Yorkers, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, are in danger of losing their homes," said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
"You're going to have over 220,000 families in the streets homeless, and in the system, the homeless system of New York state, the court system that is flooded with cases. You're going to have families that are not only at risk of losing their homes, but they're at risk of dying from COVID in the street," said Joanne Grell, of CASA.
The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners and managers of more than 1 million apartments across the city, said the Good Cause Eviction bill is mislabeled because there are already protections in place for tenants. The group said it's time for the moratorium to end.
"So this moratorium, it's important to end because additional protections already exist for tenants that will extend beyond tomorrow and will last until June, and in some cases for those who've applied for rent relief, they have protections for 12 months from when the rent relief money was provided to the building owners," said Vito Signorile, vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association.
For nearly two years, the 2020 eviction moratorium has blocked landlords from evicting tenants who can't afford to pay rent.
"There are a lot of building owners, particularly mom-and-pop building owners, who haven't received any rental payments since the beginning of the pandemic," Signorile said.
Meantime, Mayor Eric Adams' office issued reminders about tenant rights. It said lockouts are illegal nobody should self-evict. All tenants have the right to stay in their home unless they choose to leave through a formal court proceeding.
Legal services are available and free to eligible New Yorkers and can be accessed by calling 311.
ERAP, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program portal is up and running to take in applications.
Although an application may be pending, it will provide temporary protection from evictions.