State lawmakers on Tuesday proposed strengthening Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order meant to block evictions over a three-month period.
The proposal would further bar evictions for non-payment of rent that accrued over the 90-day moratorium approved by Cuomo.
The measure would cover the March 7 start date of the executive order, the entirety of the declared, plus six months after the emergency is officially over.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat and one of the sponsors of the bill, said Cuomo’s move was a “good first step” for tenants, but needs to be taken further to avoid people losing their homes.
“Unless we act, we’ll see a tidal wave of evictions immediately after the moratorium ends when tenants who’ve lost income are suddenly forced to pay several months’ worth of rent,” Hoylman said. “Our legislation prevents an impending eviction disaster by providing tenants who’ve lost their jobs a safe harbor to get healthy and back on their feet while our country recovers from this economic disaster.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an economic shutdown in order to prevent the further spread of the virus and, as a result, thousands of jobs losses as non-essential businesses shutter.
"The expiration of the 90-day eviction moratorium is a ticking time bomb for many tenants who have lost all sources of income during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if they experience other significant expenses such as medical care while they are out of work,” said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat.
Cuomo placed the 90-day moratorium in place while also blocking commercial and residential foreclosures.
Some lawmakers and tenant advocates have proposed further steps, including a rent cancellation measure.