The New York State Legislature plans to pass a bill today that would extend an ‘eviction moratorium’ until May 1st. The measure would also strengthen a number of laws for renters and homeowners due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
A special session will be convened on Monday to pass the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act to help keep people in their homes.
The measure is also said to be a boost to small landlords.
“Far too many of our friends and neighbors struggled to find safe, affordable housing before COVID-19 hit our state,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement about the legislation. “Now, more and more families are struggling financially through no fault of their own, and are worried about losing their roof over their head in the winter during a pandemic.”
Renters must attest that they have incurred financial hardship caused by the pandemic in order to qualify for the protections. In short, the same is true of mortgage holders. If renters or mortgage holders can prove that they haven’t been able to pay due to the pandemic, then they will be protected from eviction or foreclosure.
However, some advocates say that’s not enough. During the fall housing advocates spoke with FingerLakes1.com noting that the eviction moratorium that was in place put too much power in the hands of individual judges. They were calling for a complete block on evictions.
This falls in line with those advocates who have been fighting for housing as a basic right, rather than maintaining it as an economic commodity. It’s unclear if the legislature will consider taking more significant action during the upcoming regular session.
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