Last night, the New York State Legislature convened for a special session to extend the state’s eviction moratorium.
The moratorium, which prevents the eviction of tenants declaring financial hardship, will remain in place though January 15.
The move represents Gov. Kathy Hochul’s first legislative action. The bill passed 38-19 in the Senate and 80-60 in the Assembly.
The move comes in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision nullifying the federal eviction moratorium. New York State had previously imposed its own moratorium through August 31, and was relying on the federal moratorium which ran through October. However, without the federal eviction moratorium in place, New York tenants could have faced eviction beginning September 1.
The state already has a tool at its disposal to prevent evictions and make landlords whole: the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. However, the disappointingly slow distribution of ERAP funds has left many tenants at risk of eviction. Instead of extending the moratorium, the BNP urged lawmakers to focus on getting ERAP funds to tenants immediately.
In a welcome letter to Governor Hochul, the BNP urged her to make efficient ERAP distribution a top priority of her first 100 days in office.
Tenants and landlords in need of assistance should consider applying for ERAP here.
Full text of the moratorium legislation is available here.