"Today we passed legislation to avert the eviction crisis about which I-- along with other elected officials, housing advocates and community leaders from across New York-- have been sounding the alarm since March. Allowing people facing financial hardship to remain in their homes in the depth of a pandemic winter is not simply humane. It supports public health, relieves stress on our already-burdened shelter system, and avoids a domino effect of evictions, foreclosures and decay that would make our eventual recovery much more difficult. The Governor has committed to sign this bill into law upon final passage.
"I am pleased that the Senate and Assembly have offered stability to tenants and property owners alike. Our bill stops the clock on all evictions for two months, and further allows tenants to declare financial hardship related to COVID and be protected from eviction until May. Landlords and the courts will be required to collect hardship information from all tenants at risk in multiple languages, on a simplified form. Recognizing the difficulty faced by small landlords whose tenants are unable to pay rent, the bill also prevents tax liens and foreclosure filings for these properties, and automatically renews certain property tax benefits for seniors and people with disabilities. Taken together, these provisions are the strongest pandemic housing protections in the country.
"I am grateful to my colleagues who have worked so hard on this legislation, including Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assemblymember Karines Reyes, Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, and the leadership of both chambers. And I'm grateful also to advocates and practitioners who have continued the drumbeat for this legislation and will hold us accountable for its successful implementation.
"This legislation is an important first step toward housing justice during the pandemic. Further action by the Legislature and Governor will be required in 2021 to build on this progress and ensure housing is a human right for all New Yorkers."