SYRACUSE, NY -- New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Senator Pam Helming, Ranking Republican of the Senate Housing, Construction, and Community Development Committee, as well as local officials today blasted One-Party Rule’s reported plans to extend their unconstitutional eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022. As the all-Democrat Legislature keeps ‘cancelling rent’ in perpetuity, tenants and landlords keep struggling to access vital relief through New York’s dysfunctional Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
“My Senate Republican colleagues and I have repeatedly urged<https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/robert-g-ortt/leaders-ortt-barclay-put-tenant-landlord-new-yorkers-first> One-Party Rule in New York to deliver long-overdue relief to thousands of struggling tenants and landlords. Instead, they seem determined to consume themselves with repetitive efforts to ‘cancel rent’ forever. To be clear, it is New York Democrats who have failed to distribute any significant amount of relief through the disastrous program they enacted in the late budget. Their failure to deliver these critical funds -- combined with their neverending moratoriums -- is an implicit acknowledgment of their own incompetence. Deliver the relief NOW,” said Leader Ortt.
“New York has known since last December that it would be getting billions in federal aid to assist tenants and landlords devastated by the pandemic. Here we are nine months later, and still, only four percent of these funds have been distributed. My Senate Republican colleagues and I called for this federal aid to be removed from the budget process to expedite the distribution, but Senate Democrats refused our request. Senator Boyle and I led two virtual roundtables with housing community stakeholders to facilitate greater support for tenants and landlords, and we’ve submitted recommendations to New York’s Office of Court Administration. That includes opening our housing courts to help bring more eligible applicants into the program. I also continue to urge the Senate Majority to deliver Senate bill S.6481 to the Governor, a bipartisan bill I co-sponsored, so we can earmark the $100 million in state funds in the ERAP program to mom-and-pop property owners whose tenants vacated their units while owing rent. The distribution of these funds must continue to be our focus and priority,” said Senator Helming.
In May<https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/leaders-ortt-and-barclay-reiterate-calls-governor-cuomo-release-housing>, Senate Republican Leader Ortt and Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay stood with Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon to reiterate calls for quicker distribution of rent relief funds. The central New York county has for months operated an efficient rent relief program that could’ve served as a model for the statewide program.
In recent months<https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/pamela-helming/senator-helming-and-senate-republicans-hold-second-roundtable>, Senate Republicans, led by Senators Pam Helming and Phil Boyle, have held virtual listening sessions with stakeholders from the housing community to prepare for the end of the eviction moratorium.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court partially blocked New York’s eviction moratorium. Last week, the court blocked the federal eviction moratorium, and a day later, Leaders Ortt and Barclay penned a letter<https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/robert-g-ortt/ny-republican-leaders-call-immediate-actions-alleviate> to the new administration and other state officials calling for immediate actions to alleviate financial pressure on tenants and landlords.
Despite these rulings, Republican proposals, and the fact that tenants who apply through ERAP are protected from eviction, One-Party Rule is set to announce plans to return to Albany to pass another unconstitutional moratorium.
Meanwhile, tragic stories of those devastated by the neverending eviction moratoriums in New York continue to pile up:
* In March, a NYC landlord left homeless<https://nypost.com/2021/03/13/nyc-landlord-homeless-unable-to-evict-deadbeat-tenant/>, unable to evict a tenant who was not paying the rent despite having the resources to do so;
* This month, a Long Island homeowner forced to go $50,000 in debt<https://www.foxbusiness.com/real-estate/eviction-moratorium-puts-ny-landlord-50k-in-debt-with-nowhere-to-turn> because of non-payments; and
* Also this month, an Air Force veteran in Upstate New York left homeless<https://nypost.com/2021/08/28/air-force-vet-left-homeless-after-tenants-refuse-to-pay-rent/> after tenants refused to pay rent.
“Despite their best efforts to convince us otherwise, One-Party Rule has utterly failed New Yorkers facing housing insecurity during the COVID pandemic. While thousands struggle to pay their bills, New York Democrats’ “solutions” have been misinformed, mistaken, and misguided. They can’t kick the can down the road and ‘cancel rent’ forever just to appease a radical Socialist base. And while they may not agree, the right to life, liberty, and property is still a bedrock principle of our great country,” concluded Leader Ortt.