State Democratic Sen. Zellnor Myrie says he and his colleagues Wednesday night passed legislation to revise and extend New York’s eviction moratorium.
The senator, who represents the 20th Senate District in Central Brooklyn, told constituents in an email message that newly-installed governor, Kathy Hochul, convened a special session of the Legislature to consider extending the moratorium, which had been set to expire on Aug. 31.
Myrie, whose grand-mother hailed from Jamaica, said the new moratorium will be in effect through Jan. 15, 2022.
“Tenants may stay an eviction proceeding by filing a Hardship Declaration Form with their landlord or with the court,” he said. “Landlords will have the opportunity to challenge a tenant’s hardship declaration in court.”
The senator said landlords may also file a similar form to prevent foreclosures or liens on their property, if they are facing financial hardship, due to nonpayment of rent.
“Banks and lien holders will have the opportunity to challenge landlords’ hardship declaration forms, as well,” Myrie said.
He said other legislation passed in the State Senate on Wednesday extends the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, adds new funding for legal services for tenants facing evictions, and increases funding available to landlords who would not otherwise qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
“Today’s actions were a necessary step to protect vulnerable tenants facing eviction, and provides assistance to landlords facing financial difficulty, as well,” Myrie said. “I have been clear that, during this pandemic, allowing people to remain in their homes is an economic necessity and a public health imperative.
“I believe this legislation strikes the right balance and will allow us to avoid a tidal wave of evictions that would exacerbate our housing crisis, drive up homelessness, and, in turn, worsen the pandemic,” he added.
In the meantime, Myrie urged tenants and landlords facing financial hardship to apply for ERAP.
“In these difficult times, we must not and will not turn our backs on our neighbors facing financial hardships,” he assured. “Please reach out to our office if we can be of service with a housing issue or any other matter.”