Albany. NY lawmakers extend eviction ban

29 Dec 2020 | 12:00

    New York lawmakers convened remotely for a special session Monday to pass a bill extending the state’s ban on residential evictions past its Jan. 1 deadline.

    State Senate and Assembly leaders announced the session Sunday. The bill applies to evictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Pending evictions and those begun within a month of when the bill takes effect would be put on hold to allow people to submit a “hardship declaration’” that would prevent any evictions until May 1.

    Senate Democrats called it the strongest bill of its kind in the nation.

    “By enacting this comprehensive residential eviction and foreclosure moratorium, we are delivering real protection for countless renters and homeowners who would otherwise be at risk of losing their homes, adding to the unprecedented hardship that so many are facing,” state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, a New York City Democrat and the bill’s sponsor.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, recently pledged to extend the current eviction moratorium beyond its Jan. 1 expiration. Cuomo’s executive order blocks evictions for those who prove financial hardship, but housing advocates say it imposes a high hurdle. The new law would allow tenants to simply submit a document attesting to their financial difficulties.

    The bill would also protect landlords who own fewer than 10 dwelling units from foreclosure or tax liens caused by their lost income.

    “Enacting these critical protections will give us the opportunity to work with our federal congressional delegation - and with the incoming Biden Administration - to continue to craft policy and direct critical federal funding to help tenants, homeowners and especially small landlords,’’ Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.

    The Rent Stabilization Association, New York City’s largest association of landlords, opposes the proposed legislation. It warned that a blanket eviction moratorium without requiring proof of economic hardship would encourage thousands of employed tenants not to pay rent, push the city into bankruptcy and destroy the affordable housing infrastructure.

    Brabenec opposes eviction bill
    Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C-Deerpark) has come out against bill A.11181, which prevents landlords from evicting tenants who have failed to pay rent due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Brabenec and others in the Assembly believe this measure is irresponsible and seeks to help one group of New Yorkers at the expense of others.
    “Democrats have decided to call a special session only days before the New Year and for what? The bill they claim is so essential for the safety and security of the people of New York fails to address almost all of the major ramifications citizens have faced due to this pandemic,” said Brabenec. “I strongly oppose this bill and I stand by my decision to vote against it.
    “The only thing this bill actually does is prevent landlords, many of whom rely on the revenue from their properties to pay their own bills, from being able to make a living. In a time when so many people are hurting, we must figure out a way to help out those who are unable to pay their bills due to the pandemic. This bill, however, simply attempts to give renters relief by passing their burden onto their neighbors. Yet again we see thoughtless legislation from New York City Democrats that completely disregards the rest of the state and creates more problems than it could ever hope to address.”