Members of the Senate Republican Conference today held a listening session with stakeholders in the housing community to discuss the coming wave of housing cases upon the expiration of the eviction moratorium on August 31, 2021.
The listening session was led by Senator Pam Helming, ranking member of the Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee, and Senator Phil Boyle, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Discussions revolved around what effects reopening will have on the housing court system, renters, and landlords. The session provided an opportunity for lawmakers to listen to testimony from legal experts, tenants’ advocates, and other stakeholders about how courts will address the eventual reopening.
“We must do everything possible to ensure that small landlords and tenants get the assistance they need and deserve, from the efficient distribution of rental assistance money to the efficient reopening of housing courts,” said Senator Pam Helming.
“Now that New York is reopening, we need to make sure there are no further obstacles for people seeking assistance. The housing and courts community must come up with a comprehensive plan to address issues that are going to face our housing courts. Our job as elected officials is to provide solutions, and having all stakeholders at the table is essential in our effort to put a plan in place that works for both tenants and landlords,” said Senator Phil Boyle.
To help address these housing issues, the Senate Republican Conference recently introduced another piece of housing legislation (S.7123). The legislation requires the Office of Court Administration to prepare a report by July 15, 2021 detailing plans for reopening housing courts upon the expiration of the eviction moratorium. The goal of the report is to help avoid court and calendar congestion, and provide ease for both tenants and renters.
For months, and Senate Republicans called on the state to expedite the release of much-needed tenant and landlord relief, and have been sounding the alarm on pandemic-related housing issues.
The state rent relief application process opened in June, making New York one of the last states in the country to do so. The state has not yet distributed any funds.
Housing courts in New York have been almost completely closed for more than a year.