Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the moratorium on serving warrants for evictions that expired Wednesday.
This means the 14,000 people who the city identified as already having final eviction warrants pending when the coronavirus pandemic hit appear to get another reprieve.
About 200 people rallied for the extension of the moratorium outside of Kings County Civil Court Thursday morning. They welcomed the news, but overwhelmingly said more needs to be done.
The conglomeration of nonprofit tenant advocacy groups participating called for lawmakers to pass an eviction moratorium that lasts a year past the end of the pandemic restrictions. They also called for elected leaders to cancel rent obligations for everyone.
Housing court cases in Brooklyn resumed more than a week ago, but in a limited fashion and in a different building.
Some housing administrative tasks are still being performed in the civil court building, and new eviction petitions are allowed to be filed by mail. The governor’s initial blanket moratorium prevented filing those initial petitions, but that expired on June 20.
In the month of July, 1,706 residential eviction petitions were filed in the five boroughs. 1,049 of them were filed for non-payment of rent.
Under a new state law signed by Cuomo on June 30, the court cannot evict the tenant if that non-payment of rent started accruing on March 7 and the tenant facing eviction experienced a pandemic-related financial hardship. However, the tenant must now prove that to a judge.
With the new eviction moratorium, however, a final warrant for eviction could not be issued until September 5 at the earliest.
It appears the governor’s new extension of the ban on serving warrants for eviction expires on September 4.
The Office of Court Administration still needs to issue guidance - basically, an interpretation of the governor’s order.