Moratorium on state evictions expires over weekend

The moratorium on evictions the state has enacted to protect tenants financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will expire on Saturday, January 15.

After the expulsion ban was scheduled to end last September, the state extended the moratorium for another four months, but Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday said another extension was unlikely.

Instead, Hochul said she would ask the federal government for more rent assistance funds to throw another lifeline for tenants at risk of losing their homes.

During his Tuesday press briefing, Hochul stressed that tenants can still stop eviction proceedings if they enroll in the state’s emergency rental assistance program, which sets up eviction protections for pending applications.

Tenant advocates have pressured state lawmakers to pass the Good Reason Eviction Bill, which would only allow landlords to refuse a lease renewal in very limited circumstances and would cap rent increases for nearly half of state renters at 3% per year. Without it, or without an extension of the moratorium on evictions, advocates say tens of thousands of tenants could become homeless.

A federal moratorium on evictions, first enacted in March 2020 by the CARES Act, was twice extended by the CDC before being overturned by the Supreme Court in August 2021.

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