Governor Cuomo’s announcement “extending” the eviction moratorium until January 1, 2021 is misleading and disingenuous. On October 1st, unless Governor Cuomo releases new details, eviction cases will move forward — devastating New Yorkers struggling to recover from COVID-19.
Cuomo’s announcement today simply extends the provisions of the Safe Harbor Act to pre-COVID cases. It fails to cover tenants facing holdover evictions, and leaves millions of New Yorkers vulnerable to being thrown from their homes in the middle of a pandemic. It is arguably weaker than the Federal CDC moratorium announced this month.
After months of lost income and mounting rent-debt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, tenants across the State need a universal moratorium on evictions. A true moratorium, as detailed in Senator Myrie and Assembly Member Reyes’s Emergency Housing Stability and Displacement Prevention Act, would protect renters (commercial and residential) from filings and evictions. A true moratorium must last for the duration of the crisis, plus a year.
Furthermore, New Yorkers need real, permanent solutions to the COVID-19 housing crisis. New York must cancel rents and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis, with financial support for landlords to ensure they remain whole (Salazar S08802/Niou A10826), and pass an urgent rent relief program — Housing Access Voucher Program (Kavanagh S7628A/Cymbrowitz A9657A) — to get New Yorkers out of shelters and into safe, permanent housing.