Section 8 tenants who are seeking emergency rental assistance should have their evictions halted during the process and late payment fees during national emergencies should be eliminated, Attorney General Letitia James on Monday said. 

James is leading a state coalition of 18 attorneys general from around the country in calling for stronger federal protections for low-income tenants who are seeking aid as the pandemic continues on. 

Current rules approved on an interim basis require landlords of public and project-based housing to provide 30-day notices prior to eviction proceedings against rent-owing tenants. James's coalition in a letter to federal houisng regulators called for further protections to prevent evictions. 

The coalition is also backing a requirement that landlords supervised by the Department of Housing and Urban Development seek not money and not possessory judgments against tenants who have filed for emergency rental assistance or other emergency federal aid. 

“As our communities continue to face threats of eviction due to the financial hardships brought by COVID-19, HUD can and must expand protections for vulnerable tenants,” James said. “The removal of hardworking families from their homes is devastating at any point, but especially during a global pandemic that puts their lives and livelihoods at risk. I will continue to work with my colleagues in government to ensure that tenants throughout New York and across the country have the resources they need to keep a roof over their heads during this difficult time, as well as during other challenging circumstances they may face in the future.”