The Legal Aid Society today urged New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to extend the statewide eviction moratorium – which expires Wednesday night – to protect at least 14,000 households in New York City from likely eviction.
According to the New York City Department of Social Services, the City has identified more than 14,000 households that received a warrant of eviction before the pandemic this past March and are vulnerable to possible City Marshal enforcement should the moratorium expire.
“Thousands of families could face likely eviction and homelessness if this crucial moratorium is left to expire,” said Judith Goldiner, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “New York’s neighboring states have protections in place to secure tenants in their homes during the pandemic. We call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to take immediate action by extending the eviction freeze indefinitely.”
From January to March 2019, a total of 5,393 citywide evictions were executed, according to City data. By comparison, the 14,000 active eviction warrants, which were issued before March 2020, indicate that the number of evictions in 2020 could far exceed last year’s numbers.
While the Tenant Safe Harbor Act protects New Yorkers who can prove a COVID-19-related financial hardship, over 200,000 New York City households are not covered by the bill, including the 14,000 families across the city who have current warrants of eviction pending against them.
Surrounding states – including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont – have evictions freezes in place that go beyond measures that Albany has implemented. In Connecticut, Governor Lamont extended the moratorium to August 25; Massachusetts’ Governor Baker extended the pause on evictions until October 17; New Jersey’s eviction moratorium was extended until October; the Philadelphia Housing Authority extended its eviction moratorium to March 2021, covering all renters in the city; and in Vermont, all eviction proceedings are stayed until the end of the state of emergency, and nonpayment cases and “no case” cases are stayed until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency.
About The Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that New Yorkers are not denied their right to equal justice because of poverty. For over 140 years, we have protected, defended, and advocated for those who have struggled in silence for far too long. Every day, in every borough, The Legal Aid Society changes the lives of our clients and helps improve our communities.
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