Cuomo extends eviction, foreclosure protections to 2021

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ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced he will extend the eviction moratorium – set to expire Oct. 1 – to next year, continuing protections for tenants as well as homeowners who have been unable to pay rent and mortgage during the public health crisis.

Cuomo said he will sign an executive order extending the eviction moratorium, known as the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, to Jan. 1, 2021. This also protects homeowners from foreclosure for nonpayment of mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I want people to have fundamental stability in their lives,” Cuomo said during a press call on Monday.

The extended protection builds on an extension Cuomo approved recently to protect commercial tenants and property owners from eviction or foreclosure. Protection for commercial property owners and tenants extends to Oct. 20.

Affordable housing advocates have called for the moratorium to be extended at least until the end of the year as New Yorkers still struggle to cover rent. Unemployment remains high in the Empire State and has impacted communities of color the hardest, while the virus has also ravaged these communities disproportionately.

Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, has introduced legislation that would extend the moratorium until Jan. 20, 2021, but it has yet to be acted on by the Legislature.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers who applied for a slice of the $100 million made available to assist those struggling to pay rent slowly began receiving that assistance earlier this month, but how much is ultimately provided and whether it covers a tenant’s payment obligation is unclear. The state Division of Homes and Community Renewal has remained mum on the status of the rental assistance program outside of confirming over 90,000 applications had been received.

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