Eviction Protection to Come to a Halt

Moratorium scheduled to end on January 15

With New York State’s newest eviction moratorium ending on January 15th, 2022, many are left scrambling for help since there is no word on extending it.

After the federal eviction moratorium ended in late August, we’ve started to see an increase in evictions in places around the country without state protections. PBS reported that October evictions were 38 percent higher than August and 25 percent higher than September.

“If there is no extension of the moratorium, low to moderate income residents in North Brooklyn, especially communities of color, will be displaced,” said Rolando Guzman, St. Nicks Alliance Assistant Director of Community Preservation. “We urge our elected officials in Albany and the governor to expand the eviction moratorium so we don’t have winter evictions in the state.”

Governor Kathy Hochul signed the moratorium into law in September. In November, she announced that New York State has requested $996 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) after the announcement that requests for assistance have exceeded available federal funding.

The funding status of ERAP means that since November 14, 2021 any new applications submitted need to meet the restrictions for county of residence and yearly income to be accepted, and even then, funding is not guaranteed.

A letter of support for this funding led by Representative Kathleen Rice was sent to the U.S. Treasury by 17 members of the New York State Congressional delegation including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez.

If the request does get approved, the time that the funding will be granted is still unknown, so many tenants could still slip through the cracks from the current moratorium end date until then. Ellen Davidson, a staff attorney Legal Aid Society, told the Commercial Observer about her doubts of an extension to the moratorium. 

“Assuming there isn’t some change in the pandemic that gets us all very sick, and how much ERAP money has gone out, I think the eviction moratorium will be over in January,” she said. “I hope the courts are planning for what happens when more and more tenants are receiving notices of eviction and how tenants can respond to those notices of eviction.”

Advocates are pushing for Governor Hochul to take further measures for tenants and support the Good Cause Eviction bill. This bill would give tenants the right to lease renewals and prevent landlords from hiking rent an unfair amount of times and evicting tenants without a good reason.

You can voice your encouragement for Governor Hochul’s support of the bill and push for an extension of the eviction moratorium at governor.ny.gov or by calling 518-474-8390.

If you are a tenant in danger of eviction, call the St. Nicks Alliance Community Preservation at 718-388-9190 Ext. 660 for assistance.

Other resources that can help with rent include the Family Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) and Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA). To learn more about these options and view the Open Doors Guide for a list of housing resources and how to access them, visit the Rental Assistance page of nyc.gov. For free legal services, visit otda.ny.gov.

Author: Kassondra Gonzalez

Communications Associate and Contributor of the Greenline.

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