The financial crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday to call on the state to extend its moratorium on evictions through 60 days after the novel coronavirus crisis ends.
“I urge the state to act and to allow renters to use their security deposits to pay rent,” said de Blasio during his daily novel coronavirus briefing on April 13. “There is no reason at this point given how much dislocation has occurred that a security deposit sitting in a bank account … can help the renter, help the landlord have money to pay for their expenses.”
On March 20, Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended eviction proceedings and pending evictions for 90 days for residential and commercial tenants. That move came about a week after New York state Senators Brad Hoylman and Brian Kavanaugh introduced legislation to halt evictions.
After the governor’s announcement, state Senators Brad Hoylman, Liz Krueger and Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz introduced additional legislation to strengthen the moratorium.
“‘The governor’s 90-eviction moratorium was a good first step to protect tenants from losing their homes during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Hoylman in a statement. “But it’s not enough. Unless we act, we’ll see a tidal wave of evictions immediately after the moratorium ends.” Tenants rights groups such as the Legal Aid Society have also called for the creation of more solutions to address issues with accrued rent for New Yorkers.
The bill introduced on April 7 would prevent landlords from evicting tenants for failing to pay rent accrued during the state of emergency that began on March 7 for the following six months after its conclusion.
De Blasio’s announcement came two days after the mayor called for the city’s Rent Guidelines Board to freeze rents for over 2 million New Yorkers living in rent-stabilized apartments. The Rent Guideline Board is a nine-member committee appointed by the mayor tasked with determining yearly rent increases.
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story first appeared on amny.com.