Viewpoint: Eviction moratorium extension will hurt New York

November 15, 2021

Originally published in The Albany Times Union on November 15, 2021.

I give Gov. Kathy Hochul some credit for doing what her predecessor could not do: She got federal rent assistance money out the door to property owners to help make tenants current on their rent.

Permitting tenants to self-certify hardship was a system ripe for abuse, and a terrible injustice to small-property owners. A federal judge eventually struck down this process as unconstitutional, but the damage was done.

The eviction moratorium caused significant hardships. Many property owners exhausted their savings, re-mortgaged their properties, or drained retirement accounts. Some sold their rental units to larger entities. An article by Reuters confirms that institutional investors are buying up rental properties from small landlords hurt by eviction moratoriums, a trend that will exacerbate the shortage of affordable housing.