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New York lawmakers seek to extend COVID eviction moratorium through August

ALBANY — New York lawmakers are slated to extend the state’s COVID eviction moratorium through the end of August.

The relief comes just days before the current May 1 deadline and will cover residential and commercial tenants facing financial trouble due to the pandemic.

“This new extension will continue to ensure that New York tenants, homeowners, business owners, and small landlords will not have to fear losing their homes or businesses,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers). “This pandemic has been devastating on so many levels and this legislation will help give our residents and businesses time to get back on their feet.”

Stewart-Cousins and her fellow Democrats, who also control the Assembly, could approve the bill as soon as Wednesday.

The new deadline corresponds with a $2.4 billion rent relief initiative that was approved as part of the state budget earlier this month.

The extension continues a temporary stop on evictions and foreclosures for any New Yorker who can attest that financial hardship due to the pandemic has prevented them from paying their rent or mortgage.

Along with banning evictions, the bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), similarly bars foreclosures and tax lien sales for property owners, including for smaller residential landlords renting out 10 or fewer units, facing financial troubles.

Advocated and supporters applauded the extension.

“Acknowledging the reality that New York is still very much mired in a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, and answering the calls from struggling families throughout the state, the Legislature has introduced a bill that will prevent the residential eviction moratorium, a literal lifeline for millions of New Yorkers,” said Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal aid Society.

Landlord groups, however, were not pleased with lawmakers for once again pushing back the deadline and called on lawmakers to focus on getting federal relief funds out to tenants and building owners.

“Another moratorium extension serves as nothing more than an enabler of further, unnecessary delay,” said aide Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. “Tenants should be wondering if the people they elected in Albany really have their interests at heart – or are they just political pawns?”

Source (Ny Daily news)

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