A statewide moratorium on evictions through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency was approved Wednesday by state lawmakers. 

The measure now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his approval. 


What You Need To Know

  • Tenants would not face eviction during the pandemic if they were financially affected by the crisis.

  • Advocates wanted to go further: An outright cancellation of rent.

  • The bill is considered a compromise.

  • It codifies what Gov. Cuomo signed as an executive order earlier this year.



The bill covers tenants who have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis that has led to millions of people being thrown out of work. 

New York's unemployment rate in April shot up to 14.5 percent. 

The measure approved is not what some housing advocates: A cancellation of rent without back payments accruing, a proposal that has been part of a "#cancel rent" movement during the economic shutdown over the last two months. 

But lawmakers said the legislation is meant to be a compromise, and something Cuomo would sign into law. The governor previously approved an eviction moratorium in March that has been subsequently extended.

The bill would cover rent that has been due or accrued since March 7 until the date on which business restrictions and non-essential gathering bans have ended, or phase 4 of the reopening. 
Tenants would still be obligated to pay the rent they owe, but it would not affect their ability to remain in their home. 

“One of the most important things we can do is keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless," said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat who sponsored the bill. "While we wait on the federal government to do their jobs and provide disaster relief funding to people who have been impacted by COVID-19, this legislation is a life-changing protection for tenants."