Senator Rivera on Emergency Rent Relief Act Vote

"Clearly, this is not a vote I took lightly and ultimately I am accountable for it. I understand and accept the disappointment among advocates or constituents, but I do believe it was necessary to avoid a first wave of evictions.

I believe the vote today needs to be only the beginning of structuring a subsidy program that will prevent evictions in our state. There are many more steps we must take to protect tenants and keep every New Yorker in their home during and beyond the pandemic. I recognize that even if every penny of this fund were to come to my district, it would not be enough to meet the need. I also recognize that the Emergency Rent Relief Act is imperfect and insufficient. However, I voted in the affirmative to ensure we start allocating federal funding to eviction prevention efforts for tenants who are facing mounting pressure and anxiety as the end of the eviction moratorium approaches.

I am committed to continue working with my colleagues for bolder, more inclusive solutions that keep a roof over every New Yorker's head. We must push for higher taxes on wealthy New Yorkers and I will not relent on this demand. We must also provide long-lasting protections for tenants that will address the homelessness and eviction crisis now as well as the structural inequities facing our state, which this crisis has only brought to the surface."