You are reading

NYC Congress Members Call on Gov. Hochul to Extend Eviction Moratorium

Aug. 30, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The Democratic congressmembers who represent several districts in New York City are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to extend the state’s eviction moratorium that is set to expire Tuesday.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whose district covers eastern Brooklyn and a portion of southern Queens, penned a letter to Hochul Saturday urging her to extend the state eviction moratorium after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down the federal version last week.

A dozen congressmembers representing New York districts co-signed the letter, including Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Ritchie Torres, Carolyn Maloney, Mondaire Jones, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Kathleen Rice and Jerry Nadler.

They urge Hochul to extend the moratorium as many New Yorkers are still unemployed and struggling to pay rent. To make matters more urgent, approximately 750,000 city residents are expected to lose all unemployment benefits after Labor Day.

The legislators argue that an extension would provide struggling tenants with more time to tap into the state’s $2.7 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), a government fund that was set up to help New Yorkers cover their overdue rent.

The letter notes that New York State has the highest share of renter households in the United States–at 46 percent —with 63 percent of those households located in New York City.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and Governor Hochul should use her authority to ensure that no one is evicted while we work together to improve the rental assistance process for everyday New Yorkers,” Jeffries said in a statement.

Tenants have not been utilizing the rental assistance program. Only around 10 percent of potentially eligible renters have submitted applications, according to the state comptroller’s office.

“An extension of the eviction moratorium would allow for the hundreds of thousands of eligible households to apply for ERAP and receive payments to bring them up to date on their rent while keeping them in their homes,” Jeffries and his colleagues wrote.

Tenants who apply to the program do have some protection after the moratorium ends. Renters who apply will have their eviction case paused until their application is approved or rejected — and if they are approved for the program, they cannot be evicted for a year.

The state has been slow to distribute the rental assistance funds — covered mainly by federal pandemic relief money — into the hands of residents and their landlords.

“While New York was awarded one of the largest amounts of ERAP funding at over $2 billion, it was one of the slowest states to start making payments,” the legislators wrote.

The state has only distributed $203 million from the program to date, according to the most recent data

The Congress members said they were concerned over the delays in getting the money out to those in need of rental assistance.

“We remain concerned with the litany of problems regarding the roll out and execution of ERAP
in New York,” they wrote. “The state needs to address our concerns including the lack of outreach to potentially eligible households and the delays both for processing applications and making payments under the program.”

They said there was no time, however, to fix the issues before New Yorkers could be kicked out of their homes after the moratorium expires on Aug. 31.

“Accordingly, an extension of the eviction moratorium is the only way to ensure this program can both work as intended and keep families in their homes,” they said in the letter.

The state moratorium, however, has also been challenged in court. The Supreme Court declared that a key provision of the eviction moratorium was unconstitutional earlier this month.

The court ruled that the form tenants submit to self-certify that they had experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic violated due process.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Jamaica man sentenced to five years for $4.5 million bank fraud and money laundering scheme

A Jamaica man was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for his role in a wide-ranging bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy, which resulted in the misappropriation of approximately $4.5 million in victims funds.

Chinwendu Alisigwe, 38, was previously convicted following a trial in Manhattan federal court. According to the indictment and evidence offered at trial, from 2017 to 2020, Alisigwe used fake identifications to open 36 separate bank accounts at six different financial institutions, which he opened with more than a dozen fraudulent passports and other bogus identity documents bearing his photograph, but the names of other individuals.

16-year-old arrested after assault on 68-year-old grandmother heading to church in Jamaica Hills: NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was arrested on Thursday and criminally charged in the vicious attack that left a 68-year-old grandmother in critical condition after the teen shoved her while she was heading to church in Jamaica Hills on Sunday morning.

Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows apprehended the teenager in front of his residence on 89th Avenue in Jamaica following a four-day manhunt. The incident occurred as Irene Tahliambouris was on her way to morning mass on April 7.

Cop injured by glass bottle thrown from 7 train station on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

An on-duty NYPD police officer was injured while standing on a foot post when he was struck by a glass bottle that was thrown from the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza, 7 train station above Roosevelt Avenue early Monday morning.

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst reported that the officer was in uniform standing in front of 103-28 Roosevelt Ave. just before 2 a.m., when a man threw the bottle from the Flushing-bound platform. It struck the officer’s head, causing a laceration and a concussion.