On September 2nd, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new moratorium on COVID-related residential and commercial evictions for New York State which is in effect until January 15, 2022.
Under the new law, all residential tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic are protected by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. Some important things to know:
- Tenants must submit a hardship declaration to prevent an eviction proceeding from moving forward. Please note that landlords who believe that their tenant has not suffered a financial hardship will now be permitted to request a hearing in court.
- Landlords can also evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, intentionally damaging property, and where a tenant did not submit a hardship declaration.
- The legislation places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings so that homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party, or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.
- Anyone who applies to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is automatically protected from eviction while their application is pending and will receive a year of eviction protections if they qualify for assistance. Learn more about the ERAP here.
- The law establishes a new $250 million Supplemental Emergency Rental Assistance program to serve additional households and to better support landlords.
- The law also creates a $25 million fund to provide legal services to tenants facing eviction proceedings and to help them maintain housing stability in areas of the state where access to free legal assistance for such services is not available.
There are also new protections on commercial evictions. The legislation’s moratorium on commercial evictions and commercial foreclosure proceedings apply to small businesses with 100 or fewer employees that demonstrate a financial hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.
To learn more about New York State’s updated Eviction Moratorium, click here. If you’re experiencing housing difficulties, contact IMPACCT Brooklyn’s Community Organizing department at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 718-522-2613 ext. 010.