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Mixed reaction as New York's eviction moratorium nears expiration

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 18:50:28-05

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New Yorkers will no longer be protected from eviction if they cannot pay their rent when New York's eviction moratorium expires on January 15th.

Since the early days of the pandemic, New York has effectively stopped landlords from kicking out tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The State Legislature extended the moratorium last September, but it's unclear if Governor Kathy Hochul will extend it again.

"These are conversations I'm having privately with leadership, and we'll be certainly letting the public know the outcome of those conversations. So, to be determined, but people will be hearing our position on those very shortly," said Hochul last week.

Affordable housing advocacy organization PUSH Buffalo expects an extension, although nothing has been formally announced.

"If we were to see people turned out of their homes in the dead of a Buffalo winter as we're facing these high levels, there would be a lot of death, and we know that's unconscionable and just isn't called for," said Teresa Watson, PUSH's Housing Justice Organizer.

Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D - Cheektowaga) did not support the extension in September and would not support any further extension. She believes landlord-tenant eviction issues should be dealt with in the courts.

"I think that's the best mechanism to move forward instead of a blanket moratorium that captures more people than it needs to," said Wallace.

In a statement, State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said "New York Democrats’ destructive eviction moratorium may finally be ending this week. This should be a great relief for property owners and tenants alike. Small property owners have suffered enough, and we must remain vigilant against any further Democrat attempts to undermine housing in our state.”