New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams and The Legal Aid Society called on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo today to extend the statewide eviction moratorium – which expires tonight – 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.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to compounding crises and both short and long term trauma for New Yorkers. We have a moral obligation to prevent what pain we can – yet New York’s eviction moratorium is set to expire tonight. Governor Cuomo has the power to stop the displacement of more than 14,000 households, and the crisis that mass evictions will cause. The eyes of New Yorkers and of history on are Governor Cuomo, and I implore him to do the right thing by extending this moratorium,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams.
“Over 14,000 households are on the cusp of eviction and these families could very well become homeless should Albany fail to act,” 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 keep families in their homes, and we are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow suit by extending the eviction moratorium immediately and 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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